Opinion Op Ed 28 Sep 2017 Reporter’s dia ...

Reporter’s diary: Metro water MD’s transfer leaves field staff shocked

Published Sep 28, 2017, 7:02 am IST
Updated Sep 28, 2017, 7:02 am IST
Satyabrata Sahoo (right) takes over charge from  V. Arun Roy as the new Metro Water MD. (Photo: DC)
 Satyabrata Sahoo (right) takes over charge from V. Arun Roy as the new Metro Water MD. (Photo: DC)

Chennai: The rank and file of the Chennai metro water was upset over the sudden transfer of their managing director V. Arun Roy on Tuesday, who according to the field staff has done a commendable job in Chennai battling the acute water crisis of capital city for the last six months.

On Wednesday, when the new IAS officer Satyabrata Sahoo assumed charge from the outgoing 38-year-old Arun Roy, the engineers and field workers were visibly disappointed and a few of them opened up with 

Deccan Chronicle admitting that the young Roy should have been allowed to continue for some more time. They added he fell out with the political bosses last week.

“Metro water is notorious for corruption and there are chances to get spoiled, but this man was different. He will come do his work and drove the entire fraternity to address the water crisis”, said a senior engineer, who visited the metro water headquarters to greet the new MD. 

Two factors helped him to stay at the post, first he never questioned the political decisions till the recent fallout, then he found out ways to tap water from abandoned quarries and borwells driving the engineers round-the-clock, explained the official.

 “The outgoing MD use to attend more than 100 calls a day, when the city was under severe water crisis and his working hours extended to late night and early morning inspections. April to July was nightmare with public protests seeking drinking water, but he managed the show quite well. Now the rains have started and the situation improved, but the no-nonsense officer is not there to relax and enjoy the fruits of monsoon”, said a section clerk in the metro water headquarters.

In fact, even the top babus at secretariat were surprised to see the transfer on Tuesday as the officer was well handling the crisis at a time when the state suffered the worst drought in 140 years. 

“I know him as a young dynamic officer and it was surprise for me to know that he is shunted out of the metro water, a crucial post in Chennai during summer”, said a senior IAS officer. In fact the IAS fraternity, which felt safe after Girija Vaidyanthan took over as the chief secretary early this year is now worried. 

“We are seeing the frequent transfer of officers who are committed to serve public and non-corrupt officers are leaving the state cadre,” he added.

The transfer of labour secretary P. Amutha to a non significant post and clipping of Udayachandran’s wing in the education department and now the untimely transfer of Arun Roy is not good for effective administration, the officer said.

Secretariat sources also noted that former CM secretary Shivdas Meena was also unhappy and opted out of the state cadre. And on Wednesday another non controversial officer S. Gopalakrishnan, also left TN  cadre to join the Union government as the joint secretary in ministry of electronics and information technology.



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