Revanna transfers 700 PWD officials; courts controversy

Revanna transfers 700 PWD officials; courts controversy

Around 700 Public Works Department (PWD) officials - from engineers to first division assistants - have been transferred overnight on September 29, raising eyebrows.

Transfer beyond the months of June and July is in violation of the Karnataka Civil Service (Conduct) Rules of 1966. A government order dated June 7, 2013, lays down detailed guidelines for the transfer of officials.

The officials transferred include, 10 superintending engineers, 20 executive engineers, 200 assistant executive engineers, 191 assistant engineers and 150 junior assistants. This apart, office superintendents, first and second division assistants have also been transferred.

According to government sources, the transfers, which were effected at the behest of PWD Minister H D Revanna, were consented by the Chief Minister’s Office.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who has stalled transfers in most departments, has, however, repeatedly okayed transfers in his brother's department.

PWD Chief Engineer R Srinivas, who issued the order late on Saturday, defended the move by saying that such transfers were common in a department which has more than 4,000 engineers.

Speaking to DH, he said that the list of officials to be transferred was drawn up after consulting ministers of departments concerned and local MLAs. This was later approved by the chief minister, he said.

He also said that the transfers had to be effected by August 25 itself, but were delayed due to elections to the urban local bodies.

The move might not only lead to further friction between the coalition partners - the Congress and the JD(S); the opposition BJP is likely kick up a political storm by latching on to the issue.

This is not the first time that Revanna, who has been branded as the 'Super CM' by the BJP, is courting controversy with regard to the officials transfer.

Within hours of taking charge as Public Works minister in June, Revanna had effected transfers and promotions of 51 top engineers, which had led to a strife between him and Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar.

More than 20 engineers were deputed to Water Resources department upsetting Shivakumar, as it was done without his consent.

Revanna had later effected transfers of 206 assistant executive engineers in the last week of July.

Such transfers had been criticised by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister Krishna Byre Gowda also.

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