Ad hocism hits Delhi Government

Sujay Mehdudia

NEW DELHI: : Faced with a serious shortage of senior officers, the Sheila Dikshit Government is finding it difficult to keep up the pace of development as a large number of vacancies at the senior level have created a vacuum in the administration. Nearly a dozen posts are lying vacant or being handled as additional charge by some other official.

Though the Delhi Government has made a special requisition to the Union Home Ministry to provide at least six IAS officers as an interim measure, the matter is still hanging fire. Beginning with the Chief Secretary, S. Regunathan, who is also holding additional charge of Principal Secretary (Power), the situation gets worse down the line. "The Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, the Finance Secretary and the Secretary Home are the eyes and ears of the Chief Minister. In this case, Ms. Dikshit has no Principal Secretary, the Principle Secretary (Home) is holding additional charge of Principal Secretary (Finance) resulting in incomplete feedback being made available to the Chief Minister,'' rues a senior official.

Additional charge

Such is the extent of ad hocism in the administration that R. Narainswami, Principal Secretary (Home), has also been holding charge of Principal Secretary (Finance) for almost one year. In addition to his duties as the Sales Tax Commissioner, R.K. Verma is also holding charge of Principal Secretary (Planning). The posts of Principal Secretary (Education) and Principal Secretary (GAD) have been lying vacant as both Geeta Sagar and Narendra Prasad retired from service last month. Similarly, the post of Secretary (Art, Culture and Languages) has been lying vacant for quite some time now.

The DTC Managing Director, Sanjeev Sahai, seems to have set a record of sorts as he is holding additional charge of almost four posts. In addition to holding the additional charge of DTC Chairman, he is also holding additional charge of Commissioner (Transport), Secretary (Transport) and OSD (DMRC). The irony is that Mr. Sahai, whom the Chief Secretary was unwilling to give the charge of DTC Chairman, now holds everything relating to transport. The all-important post of chairman Delhi State Subordinate Selection Board is also lying vacant for the past one year. Ms.Sagar was holding additional charge of this post till her retirement last month.

The Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) Chairman, Jalaj Srivastava, has also been holding additional charge of Principal Secretary (Industries) for the past few months.

"It does not reflect well on the working of the Chief Secretary's office that it has failed to fill up important vacancies despite availability of good officers. This is only hurting the cause of good governance and not doing any good to the image of the Chief Minister,'' a senior Minister remarked.

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