Some called the business of transfer as industry. It happens quite often in government sector. In many cases, as I hear, one is to pay for getting a transfer to profitable locations. One is also to pay for getting out from a dry location to a green pasture. Politicians use it for penalizing the honest and disobeying officers too, so that others can take lessons and remain obedient. May be, they use it as motivational tool too.
For the first time, I noticed the national newspapers of the capital covering the transfer of Balwinder Kumar, the CEO, and Noida with so much detail. HT had a headline-‘Noida CEO transferred after 3 months in office’. TOI said, ‘Noida gets its 14th CEO in 7 years’.
I wrote about the transfer business when Monica Garg had joined after the demise of Mulayam’s government replacing Sanjiv Saran. That was usual. Noida being a gold mine, it always happens with the change of the government in Lucknow. Then Monica Garg also got shifted within 3 months. Balwinder Kumar replaced her. Perhaps Ms Garg was a stopgap CEO in a process that tries to find the most reliable candidate of its own choice. However, I never imagined, it would come again.
TOI talked of a speculation about the transfer. Kumar’s reluctance to accommodate the person nearer to the chair for the allotment of a 150 acre plot worth around Rs 2, 000 crore in Noida might have caused his ouster. Kumar wanted to have a global tender to have transparency. The bigwig in Lucknow wanted to use the discriminatory route.
According to HT, some highly connected officials might have got Kumar transferred as he had exposed many scams. We ourselves came across the suspension of a project engineer, when we were pleading to block the building of the boundary wall just in front our residences with the CEO.
Some say, Kumar had a wonderful record of exposing scams in UPSIDC. He did the same in Noida about the hotel allotments, SEZs, and other big contracts. So Mayawati shifted him to the Social Welfare Department to expose the scams committed during the previous government. It is very difficult to find the truth behind the transfer. But why can’t in this era of transparency for better governance, the administrative transfer accompany an explanatory note giving the reason of transfer as mandatory? Kumar on appointment talked about various development projects for Noida and promised to kick start them soon. We took it as customary with any new CEO. But he appeared to be different. How can any CEO do anything for Noida during this short a period? Mayawati would have allowed him to be in Noida for at least two years. Normally, no project takes less than 3-5 years. A CEO must be in for sufficient period so that the accountability for the projects can be fixed.
I had an opportunity to meet Kumar along with some residents of our sector who selected me to represent against the NA plan of raising the boundary wall. G. Kumar appeared to me as pretty professional in understanding the problems, and taking decisions. The best part was his visits to the sectors and meeting the residents to hear their problems.
Time and again, we in Noida have been hearing of many development projects such as City Centre, Multilevel car parking, Noida Habitant Center, library and many other projects of world class standard. Noida could have become a Bangalore minus its climate. Kumar had raised the expectations of Noidites in the very short period he occupied the chair. But if CEOs are to work on the mercy of and for Lucknow with the sword of transfer hanging on head, Noidites mustn’t expect any significant development. Every Noidites must protest against this trasfer menace in her or his own way.
Why can’t Noida Authority become fully autonomous in administration with a council of professional residents to assist and get isolated from frequent political turmoil- real or virtual? With perhaps some of the best of the talents available in the country living in Noida, some way can certainly be found to use their expertise to transform Noida in a city worth living that people in other township envy.