Nirmal obliges partymen, transfers engineers

Srinagar: The BJP has been asserting itself in administrative affairs in an aggressive manner. Health minister Lal Singh allotting plum postings to his favourites and overruling chief minister’s announcement are a few reported examples of such belligerent moves. Deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh has carried forward this aggression by recently ordering the transfer of an engineer who had declined a favour to a BJP leader.
Last month, a superintending engineer (SE) of Power Development Department in south Kashmir was prematurely removed from his post and shifted to Power Development Corporation after he refused a saffron party leader’s request to transfer a lower-rung official.
The engineer had internally transferred some employees from one place to another. One of them had links with the BJP, sources said.
Kashmir Reader learnt that the transfer orders irked BJP cadre. Led by a local BJP leader, they met the engineer in his office and urged him to retain the employee at his original place of posting.
When the engineer refused, the BJP leader told him that he would be transferred in a few days. Days later, the engineer was transferred, although he was yet to complete the two-year term. The transfer had been ordered by Nirmal Singh, an official in the PDD said, wishing anonymity.
Also, Singh had ordered transfer of two senior engineers from Budgam and Pulwama to Kargil and Leh, apparently because of their proximity to a particular political party. The duo too had not completed their tenure.
Chief engineer PDD was not consulted about the transfers. Development commissioner (power) Asgar Ali Majaz said he was in Jammu when the transfers were ordered.
“I don’t know why they were transferred,” said Majaz.
Officer on Special Duty to Nirmal Singh, Shakti Pathak, told Kashmir Reader that he is not aware of the transfers.
Pathak is believed to be bypassing chief engineers and other higher officials and directly communicating with superintending engineers.
Recently, the circular issued for revenue realization in the department was issued directly to SEs, bypassing the chief engineer PDD.
The deputy chief minister is learnt to have ignored the protests of top officials who had sought reason for transfers of engineers and also informed him about the breach of protocol by Pathak.