New Delhi [India], March 17 (ANI): Delhi Minister Atishi on Friday wrote to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena seeking immediate appointment of Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary for the Union Territory government.
In his letter to LG Saxena, Atishi said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on January 28, 2023 the redevelopment of 1,400 km of major roads in Delhi. This project includes the upkeep of footpaths, the central verge of roads, and maintaining and repairing the blacktop of roads – all of which are crucial for a world-class experience for the citizens of Delhi.
CM had announced that all PWD roads will be made to be par with European standards and systematic maintenance shall be undertaken of every stretch of road. The proposal for this project was supposed to be placed before the EFC and brought before the Council of Ministers for approval in February 2023 itself and the project was scheduled to start on April 1, 2023. However, the same has not been done because there is no regular Secretary in the PWD since mid-February and the ones holding temporary charge do not feel confident to clear the proposal involving an expenditure of thousands of crores, said the newly-elected minister.
“PWD has remained practically ‘headless’ for the last two months. Vikas Anand- who was PWD Secretary from November 2022 to February 2023 – was relieved of his charge on February 15, 2023, after which no officer was posted as the PWD Secretary. Sanjay Goel, by virtue of being the Link-Officer, was handling the charge of PWD Secretary. An order dated March 3, 2023 was issued for A Anbarasu to join as Principal Secretary PWD. However, as the order itself mentions, he has not even joined the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) so far and there is no clarity as to when he shall join,” Atishi said.
In the same order, the Minister said Manish Gupta was given charge of Additional Chief Secretary PWD – in addition to the charge of three departments already held by him, as well as being Nodal Officer for three important government projects – till A Anbarasu’s joins GNCTD. However, Manish Gupta has gone on leave since March 13. His first Link Officer Sanjay Goel was on leave for March 13-14 leaving his second Link Officer AK Singh to handle PWD matters.
Atishi said the officers holding the charge in such quick succession, as a stop-gap arrangement, do not feel confident enough to take decisions, thereby bringing crucial infrastructural development work in the national capital to a complete standstill.
“The absence of any PWD Secretary in the last two months, and the repeated stop-gap arrangements, are beginning to feel like a deliberate attempt to stall the work of an elected government. I have only shared the example of the last two months of one single department of the Government. There are numerous such examples across different departments. How can any governance be done like this? In view of this situation, I urge you to immediately post a regular Secretary,” she urged. (ANI)
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Source: The Print