Shimla: As the commissioner’s office in the Municipal Corporation of Himachal’s capital Shimla remained most targeted whenever the government planned to reshuffle bureaucrats in the past six months, the developmental works suffered.
During the last six months the commissioner’s office was subject to transfer, five times. After Shekhar Gupta was transferred in mid 2007, Devesh Kumar was brought for another four months. In mid October after the assembly election were announced in the state, Shekhar Gupta was brought back only to be removed later by the new BJP government to bring in A.J.V Prasad, within two months. But Prasad too made way for the present Commissioner Amitabh Awasthi in less than a month of his posting here. Prasad had spent mere ten working days in the office and during the rest he was on tour.
But as the things moved at an unexpectedly fast pace at the top level, the works on major projects like Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) suffered to an extent that no fresh projects were planned or sent for the centre for release of money ever since mid 2007. Apart from JNURM, other special projects like sterilization of dogs, building of new slaughter modern and solid waste management are also underway, which have also suffered massively.
As if this was not enough, the new governmnet chose to get in new Executive Engineer, Architect Planner and Joint Commissioner. But later the Joint Commissioner was kept back.
Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation Narender Kataria said that not only has the pace of public utility works been slowed down, but the corporation has been pushed back by at least four months. “Each officer takes his own time to understand the functioning of the department. We would ask the government to maintain stability in the commissioner’s office so that the state capital does not suffer”, said Kataria.