Hours after the publication of his interaction to The Indian Express on Aravallis land consolidation in which he had pointed out that “it will fuel the greed of land sharks”, Haryana’s BJP-led government Sunday transferred senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka to Science and Technology Department.
A 1991 batch IAS officer Khemka, 53, was currently Principal Secretary, Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Department. Now, he has been sent to Haryana Science and Technology Department as it Principal Secretary. Khemka’s name is included in the list of nine IAS officers transferred on Sunday. In the transfer order issued by Chief Secretary DS Dhesi on Sunday, the government has not mentioned any reason behind the move. “A copy is forwarded to the officers concerned for information and necessary action.” Dhesi was not available for comments while Haryana BJP spokesperson Raman Malik said, “He (Khemka) is a good man. I hope he brings new dimensions to science and technology in the state.”
This will be Khemka’s sixth transfer during current state BJP government which came to power in October 2014 in Haryana. This will be also be his 52th transfer during 27-year service as an IAS officer.
The state government had recently reversed an over six year old order of Khemka in which he had withdrawn consolidation process of 3,184 acres of land in village Kot (Faridabad) after an inquiry showed that most of the land (2,565 acres) comprised uncultivable hilly area of Aravallis. The village is on the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.
When reached for comments on Saturday, Khemka had stated, “Close to 80% of the land concerned is hills and forests of the Aravallis, which will be destroyed in the name of consolidation. Big private interests will take over common property resources and destroy the already fragile environment of the NCR. “Consolidation proceedings in the eco-fragile zone of the Aravalli will not increase agricultural productivity, but fuel the greed of land sharks. An inquiry into land purchases will unravel the truth,” Khemka had told The Indian Express.