Circumstances hint that all is not well in Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy
Lucknow: If bureaucracy is considered as a 'tool' to evaluate the functioning of Uttar Pradesh government, we can say that everything is not well in the state. The working method and workload of Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, who is sitting at the top of the power corridors, raise serious questions about the intent of the state government.
The government has failed miserably in appropriate posting of bureaucrats as well as implementation of people's welfare schemes. Shockingly, Rahul Bhatnagar himself is holding six offices at present.
Following the lack of DIGs, the government is also facing troubles in implementing its order of sending IGs and ADGs to the field. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had promised time-bound investigation of the irregularities in the works of previous Samajwadi Party government. But in several cases, the time limit has already expired, and the investigators are still far from any conclusion.
Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar is so loaded with work that if an officer works for 24-hours at a single go, he will not be able to complete even 50 per cent of his assignments.
Agricultural Production Commissioner (APC) Pradeep Bhatnagar retired on April 30, but instead of a new appointment, the UP CS himself took the additional charge of the department. It may be mentioned that he was already serving as the Chairman of Picup and UPSIDC and holding the post of Industrial Development Commissioner (IDC).
Usually, on the day of retirement of an APC, his successor was appointed, but this time it did not happen. Apart from these unwieldy chairs, Rahul Bhatnagar is also heading the designation of Chief Secretary Sugarcane and Sugar Industry.
This, however, is not the first time in history of Uttar Pradesh, when a senior IAS officer is holding smaller designations.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, immediately after taking charge of the CM office, had ordered to release the retired officers, but the directive is yet not implemented even in Chief Secretary's office. Working as associates to UP CS, retired IAS officers RD Paliwal and SN Srivastava are still sitting in the office. Kumar Kamlesh was the first officer to be transferred after the formation of BJP government in UP, which proves that Rahul Bhatnagar wants to work with the officials of his likings.
The law and order in the state is still not up to the mark as was promised by the Yogi government after taking over the reins. During past 50 days, over 100 murders have taken place across the state. The changes introduced in the police department to strengthen the law and order situation have turned out to be for no good.
Aditya Mishra, a 1989-batch IAS, has been appointed as ADG Law and Order, while the posts of ADG Varanasi, Bareilly and Meerut have been allotted to Vishwajeet Mahapatra, Brajraaj Meena and Anand Kumar, respectively. Interestingly, they all are senior to Aditya Mishra. Vishwajeet is a 1987-batch officer, while Meena and Anand Kumar are of 1988-batch.
Abhay Kumar Prasad, who has been elevated as Lucknow ADG, is two-batch junior to Aditya Mishra, while Zaki Ahmed, who is a 1996-batch officer, is already holding the post of IG Zone Kanpur.
In more irregularities in postings of IAS ranked officers, 1995-batch Alok Singh has been named as DIG Range. Varanasi is the Zone Headquarter, where 2002-batch IAS Jawahar has been appointed as DIG Range Varanasi. A lot of similar irregularities are clearly visible in deployment of officers in the state.
Surprisingly, Rahul Bhatnagar had even declined CM Yogi Adityanath's recommendation of appointing former Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan for the post of IIDC Chairman.
It may be recalled that recently when a team of NITI Ayog visited Lucknow, department's CEO Amitabh Kant proposed the name of Alok Ranjan for the post of Ayog's vice president. But Rahul Bhatnagar strongly opposed the proposal claiming that the post must be held by an economist.
Significantly, the post has so far been held only by retired officers. Alok Ranjan is among those IAS officers who have held almost all the top positions in UP's power corridors.