Why is it that for decades now, Pune has had to suffer the elected representatives scuttling progress each time able officers and take serious effort to benefit the city?
In yet another typical case, the young and dynamic Deputy Commissioner of Pune, Traffic, Tejaswi Satpute was abruptly transferred out, barely after six months of her tenure in the city.
A six month period is hardly any time to judge a Government officers calibre, but Satpute was noticed. Besides being stern with implementing the mandatory helmet rule, she had also come down heavily on the illegal parking of private luxury buses on our roads. Top 10 online gambling sites in 2019 gamblingid.com Legit rankings of the very best online gambling sites for 2019.
She was obviously noticed not only by the citizens who began to appreciate her departments work but also spotted by all those wished to violate these orders, be it political parties or people in power. It was a matter of time and predictably she was moved out.
The Twitter was agog with tweets about Satpute’s transfer and in a reply to my tweet, senior BJP leader Ujwal Keskar stated that she has got a more prominent posting, implying that it’s a promotion so why complain.
If that is so, why not recommend her for a promotion within the department that she was so efficiently handling? The reasons are obvious.
Time and again our political leaders defy the Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Official Duties Act, 2005, which clearly states in its Section 3 that: ”Tenure of posting. – (1) For All India Service Officers and all Groups A, B and C State Government Servants or employees, the normal tenure in a post shall be three years…’’
In February 2018, another dynamic IAS Officer, Tukaram Mundhe who served as PMPML Chairman barely for 10 months (this post has seen similar short terms of innumerable IAS officers for the past three decades or more) was unceremoniously transferred out.
The reason? Many Class IV employees were dismissed due to dereliction of duty and other reasons while a few corrupt officials too were suspended by Mundhe who wanted to cleanse the ailing PMPML which is in a pitiful condition and has a shameful image as a public transport system.
In August 2018, Shrikant Patil, Tehsildar of Indapur was transferred within a short time. Reason? He took on the sand mafia so heavily that the alleged nexus between the contractors and powers-that-be was being threatened. Hence, the Netas didn’t want cleansing of of the mafia that dangerously threatens our society.
Sudden transfers occur at all levels, wherever officers have shown their dynamism, efficiency and are action-oriented. They stand committed in their line of duty and are too honest for the comfort of the dishonest political bosses.
In October 2018, Milind Gaikwad, Senior Police Inspector of the Kondhwa Police Station was transferred just two days after he filed a case of extortion against a city MLA for extortion. There were widespread protests mostly from other political parties (the pot should not call the kettle black, but that’s another story) but the fact is, instead of supporting Gaikwad, the government chose to transfer him. Such is the power of corruption in our country!
The question that comes to mind, is what is the point of voting for political candidates who turn their backs on us, the voters, once they are elected?
Not only do they ignore us but, once elected, develop the trait of working for lobbyists, being in nexus with the contractors and government officials, so that financial irregularities and corruption can blatantly flourish.
They defy rules, regulations and orders. They bulldoze protests by activists, NGOs and citizens – all through muscle power and money power. All they want is to be rich, richer and roam around in the most expensive cars.
In short, the political class stalls progress and if there is progress, it is often without being sustainable in terms of environment. In Pune, there are stark examples of how shunting out good and honest officers and indulging in financial irregularities has hurt the progress of our city.
Our rivers are filled with pollutants with only 60 of our Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) functioning; our river beds are filled with construction debris, the latest being debris apparently due to Metro construction; our roads are perpetually of bad quality; slum rehabilitation is tacky with low quality construction and terrible amenities; the tree authority turns a blind eye to several instances of large scale tree felling; traffic on streets is chaotic; land for public utilities and amenities is often de-reserved for the benefit of builders and developers and the story goes on…
Now, we have a new title called ‘Smart City.’ Smartness is seen in only bits and pieces. Until our Netas leave our government officers alone and treat them with the respect they deserve and freedom to perform for the larger good of the society, there is no hope for Pune.
Now, with a whopping Rs.6,500 odd crore budget for the PMC, there would predictably be more scrambling by the political-bureaucrat-contractor nexus rather than any desire to truly give Pune, world class amenities and infrastructure.
What can change this deplorable scenario? Your guess is as good as mine!
#All views expressed in this column are those of the author and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to the same.
That's Vinita Deshmukh, Senior journalist and RTI activist who believes in journalism that reflects the views and needs of the common man.
Get Real And Stay Relevant says Vinita,