Govt reverses BMC council order; 3 officers back in corporation

Bhopal: The state government on Tuesday reversed a week-old order of BMC general council, giving marching orders to two additional commissioners Mallika Nigam and V K Chaturvedi and city engineer G S Saluja and repatriating them to their original departments. The BMC had taken the decision after a probe held the three guilty of irregularities in issuance of building completion certificates to builders.

In its order, the urban development department said that the BMC’s order was bad in law. The BMC order clearly says that the government sends officers on deputation to the corporation. As such, the corporation cannot terminate their deputation unilaterally.

The government order said that the BMC should take back the services of the three officers and they should be allotted the work they were doing earlier. After the order, the three reached the BMC headquarters and took charge of their previous assignments. Nagar and Chaturvedi are members of the state administrative service while Saluja is an executive engineer in the urban development department.

BMC Commissioner Priyanka Das said that in the wake of the order, the three officers have been allowed to join the corporation. BMC chairman Surjeet Singh Chouhan said that it was not a question of victory or defeat. A probe was ordered on the demand of the opposition and the officers were removed on the recommendation of the commissioner. Now that the government has sent them back and they have been taken on board.

The corporators were elated by their success in doing away with the services of the officers. Now that the three are back, it is clear that the bureaucracy has had the better of the people’s representatives.

Protest on social media

After their removal, Nagar and Chaturvedi had voiced their disapproval on the social media. “I am experiencing how conspiracies are hatched at the highest levels,” Chaturvedi had written. Nagar had also said that removing them without hearing their side was unfair.

Controversy may snowball

The government’s decision to send the three officers back to the BMC may trigger a confrontation between the urban development department and BMC. The decision is being seen as snub to Mayor Alok Sharma. Commissioner Priyanka Das, who had recommended their removal, has also been left red-faced. The order may loosen the grip of Mayor and the commissioner on BMC officials.

‘Can’t comment without seeing the order’

Mayor Alok Sharma told Free Press that he is out of city and will comment on the order only after studying it. “We had got an enquiry conducted on the demand of opposition corporators. We had made report public. The BMC general council had passed a resolution regarding their removal. Now, the government has reversed the decision. We will see what can be done,” he said.