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Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 1:42 AM (IST)

No tolerance for corrupt officers, asserts Sidhu

No tolerance for corrupt officers, asserts Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 20

Minister for Local Government Navjot Singh Sidhu today termed corruption as the main reason behind the removal of the Chief Town Planner and the Chief Vigilance Officer from their posts yesterday.

Talking to the Tribune, Sidhu said, “Hemant Batra, Chief Town Planner, was not even a qualified town planner. There are serious allegations on his educational qualifications which need to be verified. Reports on Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) and Engineer in Chief Anil Kumar Kansal led to doubts on his professional integrity too. Both will be verified separately. Meanwhile, the office work needs to continue. Fresh appointments will be made very shortly.”

Department sources said Chief Town Planner Batra faced a number of departmental inquiries and even court cases on different accounts, including his qualifications for his job throughout his career. Former Municipal Town Planner Raj Kumar who fought against him with the department and court, said, “I am once again seeking information from the department regarding the authenticity of certificates on the basis of which he has served the department for so many years. His basic appointment was as a ‘work charge tracer’ for 89 days and he continued to get extensions till a formal appointment in 1984. Somebody is responsible for the undue favour granted to him.”

Kansal faced charges of having sought gratifications for favouring certain officials in vigilance reports. In reply to question of his removal, CVO Kansal said, “I am continuing in my office for the second year after the age of 58 years as per the government policy. Change in my job profile is the prerogative of my department.”

Transfer orders of both officials have been signed by Additional Secretary Hargunjit Kaur.

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