K.V. Prasad

Posts of Deputy Commissioner, City Engineer also vacant

COIMBATORE: The Coimbatore Corporation waits for the posting of a Commissioner after the elevation and transfer of Anil Meshram as Collector to Perambalur District.

Though it is hardly a month since he moved out, there is unease in the Corporation after the excruciating wait for nearly eight months till he was posted as Commissioner in 2004. The post had fallen vacant after D. Karthikeyan was transferred as Collector to Erode District. Mr. Meshram was posted after much noise was made in the Corporation Council over the post lying vacant for a long time.

Now, the suspense is whether an officer from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) or a non-IAS officer will be posted as Commissioner. Sources in the Corporation indicated last week that a non-IAS officer may be posted and even hinted that a former Regional Director of Municipal Administration of the Tirupur region may be the candidate.

No announcement yet

A few All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) councillors even alleged a week ago that this was being openly claimed by senior Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) councillors. But, no such posting has been announced yet.

It appears that the AIADMK is sharpening its knives to assail the DMK if a non-IAS officer were to be posted. An AIADMK councillor recalls the protest led by the DMK, and supported by the Congress and the Left parties, against moves to post a non-IAS officer after Mr. Karthikeyan (an IAS officer) was transferred to Erode. But, no one in the DMK camp is open about the choice of the official for the Commissioner's post as the suspense continues. A Communist Party of India (Marxist) councillor justifies the non-committal stand of the DMK front by arguing that it does not matter who is posted but the works have to be implemented and the affairs of the Corporation must be conducted smoothly.

Revenue-earning

This contradicts the earlier stand of the front, especially when the post was vacant for a long time. The argument then was that given the stature of Coimbatore as a substantial revenue-earning Corporation next only to Chennai, only an IAS officer should be posted as Commissioner.

Corporation sources say the posting may not be delayed as the Government is keen on raising the performance of the civic bodies as local body elections are not far away. Coimbatore Corporation does not have a Mayor.

The Deputy Mayor is the Mayor in-charge. The post of the Deputy Commissioner has been vacant for many months. In the absence of a Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner and also City Engineer, an Executive Engineer conducts the Council meetings along with the Mayor in-charge. Now, the Public Relations Officer has also been transferred. Councillors are already upset that a number of vacancies has hit the functioning of the civic body.

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