Over the posting of 27 officers having doubtful integrity BJP today accused the Himachal government of misleading in the Vidhan Sabha.
The query about the posting of officers with doubtful integrity against sensitive posts was raised by Narinder Thakur during Question Hour. On replying, Chief Minister, who also holds the portfolio of Home, said 67 officers were included on the list and 27 of them had posted against sensitive posts.
These officers either had criminal or departmental proceedings against them in various courts or had been convicted or a major penalty against them by a court of law.
The reason why these 27 had posted against the sensitive posts was because of their utility or the department feeling the need to have them there,” the CM said. However, with Thakur accusing the government of trying to furnish information not based on facts, Virbhadra said the government would rethink about the postings of these 27 officers.
Thakur insisted that their postings had been done in violation of the Supreme Court directives. “There is no dearth of insignificant posts at the headquarters whether it is the Public Works Department (PWD), Irrigation and Public Health or Electricity Department,” he stated. He sought an assurance from the CM that these officers would be posted out.
The list furnished by the government has names of one IPS officer, two Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers and five Himachal Police Service officers, besides Superintendent Engineer-level officers in the PWD. The 12 officers on the list are from the PWD, 14 from the Electricity Department, 11 from IPH Department, seven from Home (Police), five from Rural Development and three from Forest Department.
In reply to another query by Randhir Sharma, Gulab Singh Thakur, Ravinder Ravi, Virender Kanwar and Suresh Kanwar on the four-laning and national highway projects approved by the Union Ministry of Surface Transport, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said no money had been received from the Centre even though in-principle approval had been received.
A leader of the Opposition PK Dhumal pointed out that the figure, cited in the CM’s Budget speech and the one in today’s reply, varied. “We do not know whom to trust and when we point out he (CM) gets irritated,” he said.
The CM retorted by stating that he had been PWD Minister unlike Dhumal so he knew better. Dhumal was prompt in correcting him when he said the CM was forgetting that he, too, was a PWD Minister.
The CM said the whole process before the money was sanctioned was complicated and cumbersome. “The in-principle approval has been received but the stage has not come where the money has been released,” said Virbhadra. Dhumal pointed out that since the DPRs had not been sent to the Centre, how could the money be released in advance.
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