Calcutta, Feb. 12: Nandini Chakravorty, the secretary of the information and cultural affairs department, was transferred today.
Atri Bhattacharya, a 1989-batch IAS officer, was given additional charge of the department along with water resources investigation.
Chakravorty will now be posted as the editor of the West Bengal District Gazetteers, a directorate under the higher education department.
The move to shift her to a department of lesser importance has raised eyebrows at Writers’ Buildings as Chakravorty, a 1994-batch IAS officer, is considered close to the chief minister.
The shift has been announced at a time the state is struggling to find efficient officers to fill key posts. It has also come close on the heels of the transfer of Damayanti Sen, an officer whose conclusion in the Park Street rape case had embarrassed the government.
Chakravorty had earned a reputation for efficiency when she became one of the executive directors of West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), handling then important projects like the chemical hub.
In 2011, after the new government took over, she was picked as the managing director of the WBIDC.
But in November, Chakravorty was removed as WBIDC managing director.
Official sources had said the decision was taken as Mamata Banerjee wanted her to concentrate more on the information and cultural affairs department. The chief minister also looks after the department.
Few officials have heard of the new post, the editor of the Gazetteers, a Raj-era berth that had not been filled with any senior IAS officer for the past 20 years, according to a veteran.
“Chakravorty was considered as one of the most important officers since the change of guard at Writers’ Buildings. She had been holding the all-important information and cultural affairs department, which reports to the chief minister, since May 26, 2011, as a special secretary,” a senior official said.
Bhattacharya, who replaced Chakravorty, had earlier worked as the executive director of WBIDC. Bhattacharya recently came back to the state after completing a central assignment on deputation.