Irrigation department has transferred 37 officers despite the fact that Chief Minister Punjab has imposed a complete ban on all transfers/postings during the flood season 2012, Business Recorderhas learnt.
All the transfers and postings were made while relaxing the ban by the competent authority either on summary or on note submitted by the irrigation department on the directions of Chief Minister’s Secretariat, a senior official requesting anonymity told Business Recorder.
The said transferred officials include: Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) in BS-17 to Superintendent Engineer (SE) in BS-19. Among them 19 were SDO, 16 XENs and two were SE. Most of the officers were transferred from flood zone districts like Bahawalpur, Muzaffargarh, Rehim Yar Khan and Multan. They were posted in relatively safe districts. These officials are the key strength of department to handle all flood and routine water issues. This is a big reshuffle in a month.
According to a letter made available to Business Recorder, the chief minister Punjab imposed a complete ban on all transfers/postings of the officials/officers of irrigation department during the flood season 2012. In the same letter, the department warned all the officials working in irrigations zones not to move their requests for transfers/postings till lifting of ban.
The Punjab government imposed ban on all transfers/postings in irrigation department while taking it a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward flood situation as the spell of monsoon was scheduled to start from first week of August. It was decided that the already posted officers had more knowledge, liaison with locals and first hand information about the situation of embankments, stone fillings and flood arrangements on their designated supervisory areas. The ban was aimed at enabling the officials to make solid arrangements to avoid any disaster of flood in their areas as the new officials may not handle the situation owing to lack of knowledge about the demography, nature of people and flood channels.
Keeping the situation in view a ban was imposed on all transfers/postings in department with the approval of the chief minister.
But unfortunately, the chief minister secretariat directed the department to submit summaries of 37 officials for their postings on lucrative slots (choice posts). To comply with the directive of chief minister’s secretariat, the department submitted summaries with the views that ban had been imposed on all transfers/postings but the competent authority (the CM) relaxed the ban and ordered transfers/postings of 37 officials.
As the CM approved the summaries, transfers and postings orders were issued and the transferred officials joined new assignments, the official added.
The Punjab government in collaboration with the Institutional Reforms Group held Punjab Governance Forum in the month of July to highlight good governance, ensuring transparency, accountability and participation to fight corruption and improve citizen engagement. The forum was aimed at to promote merit based system in Punjab through improvements in recruitment, promotion and competition. But on the other hand, the government was violating its decisions in transfers and postings of officials which were contrary to the tall claims of good governance and merit policy, the official added.
Secretary Irrigation Khalid Masood Chaudhary was contacted but he did not respond despite repeated attempts.