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CEO shunted over garbage

Ranchi Municipal Corporation CEO Dipankar Panda was transferred on Friday, leading to apprehensions that several city projects, already floundering due to administrative apathy and red tape, will be delayed even further, at least in the short term.

Panda would not comment, stating that he got to know of his transfer only after he came to work in the morning. He will now exchange posts with Rajendra Institute Medical Sciences (RIMS) deputy director Manoj Kumar.

Sources claimed Panda was eased out after differences of opinion with the urban development minister Suresh Paswan over the future of a private cleaning agency assigned the task of garbage collection in the state capital.

The firm, A2Z, has been sacked as most councillors were unhappy with its services, their views based on complaints from residents. But apparently, the minister was keen to give A2Z some more time.

“It was surprising for all of us when we came to know about it this morning,” said a corporation official. “It is nothing but petty politics as all ministers want their own men to man their departments,” he said, alluding to the row between the CEO and Paswan.

Paswan wasn’t available for comment.

Next in line is corporation deputy CEO S.K. Lal. The minister, sources close to him claimed, had already put in a request to shunt him out.

The change couldn’t have come at a worst time. Ranchi is going through a transitional phase, now trying desperately to appoint a new agency for day-to-day garbage clearance as A2Z is scheduled to stop work on the first day of the New Year.

Also, officials felt several initiatives lined up for next week would get held up. For instance, the corporation was to float tenders for Urban Haat at Naga Baba Khatal, outsource tax collections and begin work on a shopping complex at daily market.

“DPRs for all the projects are ready. We were planning to begin work on the Urban Haat from January. Now, after the new CEO joins, he will take time to settle down. And if he has some new ideas, then the DPRs will have to be reworked,” said another civic official.

Will Ranchi residents ever see clean neighbourhoods?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com