A Three-year tenure of the 1986 batch Haryana cadre senior IAS officer,Ram Niwas,as UT Home Secretary,came to an end this afternoon,as he was repatriated to his parent cadre by the Chandigarh Administration. Amidst various controversies,he launched various initiatives,during his three-year stint with the Chandigarh Administration.
To start with,Ram Niwas streamlined and implemented the mid-day meal in the citys government schools. During his tenure,the city got air-conditioned buses besides various other modes of transport including the radio-auto rickshaws and the National Crafts Mela was brought to the city,as an annual feature and Kalagram was designated as the spot to host the mega festival,which has emerged as a hit with the city residents.
In an attempt to streamline the functioning of government schools,Ram Niwas started a surprise inspection of the government schools in the city and interacted with school children. It was also during his tenure that the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) recorded maximum profits.
Ram Niwas earned the ‘disliking of the medical fraternity,when he acted tough and cracked whip on the erring doctors and paramedical staff,posted at Government Multi Specialty Hospital,Sector 16,by ordering registration of criminal cases against them. However,his tough stand was widely appreciated by the medial and city residents.
Talking of the controversies,two major recruitments – teachers in government schools and conductors in transport department of UT – both took place during his tenure and both got mired into controversies. In both the recruitments,various serious discrepancies were detected and criminal cases were registered. While the UT Education Department had to change the results in the teachers recruitment; the conductors recruitment had to be scrapped.
Ram Niwas got mired in controversies for his aggressive behaviour,particularly with the private schools operators in the city. The citys ‘elite eventually had a win-win situation,as Ram Niwas was stripped off his charge of Secretary,Education. The move was seen as an unprecedented one in the Chandigarh Administration,as it had never happened before that an officer holding the charge of Secretary (Home) was stripped off the charge of Education. The charge of Education department was transferred to Secretary (Finance),V K Singh – a Punjab cadre IAS officer.
Ram Niwas entry to the Chandigarh Administration was also quite dramatic. The initial panel,sent by the Haryana government did not mention his name. However,the government had to send a revised panel,which included Ram Niwas name and he bagged the coveted post.
It was virtually a crisis situation in the Administration,when he joined. The top brass of Chandigarh Administration was facing a CBI probe and all the central government agencies including Ministry of Home Affairs,Central Vigilance Commission and Central Bureau of Investigation had initiated probes in the alleged irregularities committed by the previous lot of bureaucrats posted in the Chandigarh Administration.
* Satya Gopal,the chairman of Chandigarh Housing Board will look after charges of Home,Law,Police,Prisons,Transport,Food and Supplies,Local Self-Government and Revenue.
* UT Finance Secretary V K Singh would also have the charges of Chief Administrator,Urban Planning,Secretariat Establishment,Tourism,Hospitality,Cultural Affairs and House Allotment.
* Managing Director,Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation,D K Tiwari would look after charges of Industries,Health,Medical Education and Cooperation.
* DC Brijendra Singh has been given charge of Employment,Labour and Social Welfare and will be Chairman of Child & Women Devpt Corporation & SC,BC and Minorities Financial and Devpt Corporation.