Srinagar: Following the recommendation made by Health Minister Bali Bhagat in the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, the J&K government has removed two senior officials of the health department from their posts due to poor performance and delay in the implementation of healthcare programmes, among them several flagship schemes of the central government.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that Dr Mohan Singh, Director of the National Health Mission (NHM), and Lotika Khajuria, Controller of the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO), have been shunted out from their positions.
“Both these officials have featured in the list of non-performing administrators guilty of mismanagement and unnecessarily delay in the implementation of various projects and healthcare schemes,” said a senior official in the health department.
Sources in the department said that Dr Mohan Singh had faced severe criticism for non-implementation of various prestigious centrally sponsored schemes, especially the National Dialysis Program (NDP), 102 and 108 critical-care ambulance services, Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi, mobile medical units, and National Program for Biomedical Equipment Management and Maintenance Services.
“The Chief Minister and the Health Minister were upset with his way of working. It was decided in the recently held cabinet meeting to show him the door,” said an official privy to the development.
Dr Singh had earlier faced a vigilance probe after his degree in hospital administration was de-recognised by the Medical Council of India.
As per the government order removing him from the post, Dr Yashpal Sharma, Registrar (Academic) GMC Jammu, has been given the charge of Director NHM. Dr Singh has been asked to report to the administrative department till further orders.
The government has also removed Controller, DFCO, Lotika Khajuria for delay in recruitment of staff in the department.
“The mismanagement under her tenure has badly affected food testing in J&K. She also failed to recruit staff in the DFCO for its labs and mobile testing vans,” sources said.
They said the DFCO had made a false claim about appointment of staff for the food laboratory. It had posted most of the existing workforce in the lab on deputation basis to mislead the J&K High Court.
The government sent back Khajuria to her original post as Deputy Drug Controller, Jammu, and gave another Deputy Controller, Nazir Ahmad, temporary charge as Controller DFCO. However, in response to a fresh petition filed by Khajuria, the High Court on Friday asked the government to appoint some officer other than Nazir Ahmad and Khajuria as DFCO Controller until April 2, when it will next hear the petition.
“Both respondent and petitioner have refrained from discharging duties as Drug Controller on the assurance provided by Sanjeev Padha, the government advocate. Hence, Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education shall make substantive arrangements for the post by April 2,” the High Court directed today.
While Dr Yashpal Sharma joined as Mission Director, NHM, on Friday, the post of Controller DFCO has become vacant following the High Court order.