With Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner-cum-Estate Officer Vinay Pratap Singh stating that “he will not tolerate any corruption and unnecessary harassment to the public”, the UT Administration, in a major reshuffle, issued transfer orders of 61 employees of whom 26 are from UT estate office —- many of those who were sitting on files and in the same post for years.
The Deputy Commissioner had recommended their transfers, which, he said, were based on performance review.
On Thursday morning, the Department of Personnel, Chandigarh Administration, issued in public interest transfer orders of 61 employees of various departments under inter-departmental transfer policy.
On the transfer of UT estate officials, DC Vinay Pratap Singh said, “These 26 officials of the Estate Office have been posted in their seats for long tenures. They have been transferred out based on performance review. In the last few months, about a dozen staff of estate office was also suspended after performance review.”
He added, “Decision to initiate disciplinary action and transfers has been taken to ensure corruption- free working and timely disposal of the applications in the estate office.”
The estate office had recently initiated disciplinary action against some of its officials of whom some of the officials were suspended on the basis of performance review.
“This office will not tolerate any corruption and unnecessary harassment caused to the public. Strict check would be done at levels where public dealing is done,” he added.
Inter-departmental transfer policy
It was in January 2018 that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had issued a notification for approval to the inter-departmental transfer policy of the Administration.
The Union government had made amends in the service conditions of the UT employees, giving the Administrator the power to transfer any employee from one department to another. With the notification, the Administrator can now transfer any employee appointed in Groups A, B, and C, and under his administrative control.
According to the same, the employees can be transferred from one department to another so long as such transfer does not adversely affect the pay and allowance, seniority or promotion and financial benefits applicable to such persons.
Many suspended in August
In August, the Estate Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Vinay Pratap Singh, had also suspended five officials of the Chandigarh estate office on the grounds of failing “to discharge their official responsibilities”. These officials had not only failed to clear long-pending applications but also failed to recover pending dues of properties.
At the same time, the Secretary Estate had also reviewed the functioning of the branches of the estate office in detail, especially with regard to the recovery of pending dues of leasehold/rented properties, disposal of long-pending applications, possession over resumed properties and vacant plots.
A statement by the Chandigarh Administration had said that “despite notice, some of the officials miserably failed to respond regarding their lack of action regarding above-mentioned issues and these officials had failed to discharge their official responsibilities and thus caused financial loss to the UT Administration.”
The Indian Express had reported about officials sitting on applications
The Indian Express has in a series of reports this year and last year as well highlighted how the estate office officials had been sitting on files of residents, in some cases, even for years.
Few months ago, it was also highlighted how a resident was 70 years old when he had applied for a basic document at the estate office and he was 84 now and he had been shuttling for the same.
Working under SC scanner
The Supreme Court has been constantly monitoring the functioning of the UT estate office as well. For the same, it had also constituted a committee led by the MP.