The BBMP has the knack of being in the news for all the wrong reasons.
After facing the public backlash regarding the garbage crisis, the civic body has been rapped by the urban development department for taking unilateral decision to send back the BBMP’s chief conservator of forests (CCF) to his parent department. The Palike’s order has been quashed.According to sources, the BBMP’s additional commissioner (administration) issued an order on October 11, 2012, sending back CCF Brijesh Kumar to his parent department.
This, after the standing committee for personnel and administrative reforms recommended to the commissioner to repatriate the official, citing financial burden and pointing out that his post was not a sanctioned one. Kumar, who assumed charge as CCF in the BBMP on May 17, 2012, had challenged this order in the urban development department, as his tenure was to be of one year. The committee in its resolution claimed that Kumar’s salary was high, but sources said he was handling the funds of about Rs250 crore per year.
Though the post is not regular, he was appointed by the state government for a period of one year. The BBMP has only two sanctioned posts in its forest department. They are of the rank of deputy conservator of forests.
One post was upgraded to CCF to accommodate Kumar, who headed the horticulture, forest and lakes wings. However, the standing committee for personnel and administrative reforms recommended the repatriation citing financial strain, on August 6, 2012. The standing committee’s recommendation was pending in the commissioner’s office.
After the new commissioner Rajneesh Goel took charge, he okayed the committee’s recommendation and directed the additional commissioner to issue the repatriation order. Kumar was directed to hand over charge to his junior officer.
Sources close to Kumar claimed that the official was being unnecessarily targeted since he had brought to light several irregularities and misappropriation of funds to the tune of `21 crore. “Though he had apprised the commissioner of this, no action was initiated against the erring officials. He is now facing the brunt for his actions,” they claimed.Several councillors have often pointed out that the officials on deputation were draining the BBMP’s resources, given their higher pay scale. Compared with the other departments, the pay scale of the BBMP is low.
The financially starved civic body has made several attempts to repatriate officials who are in the BBMP on deputation to their parent departments. These attempts have often failed mainly because of political pressures. As an end result, the officials on deputation continue to enjoy their plum posts in the BBMP.
The government had, on October 31, overruled the order issued by the committee and asked Kumar to continue in the post. When contacted, Goel only stated that he would abide by the government’s decision. “The government is supreme. The BBMP has to obey government directions,” he said and added that Kumar is back according to the government’s decision.