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Delhi targets babu hurdle to bifurcation

Anil Goswami

Hyderabad, March 18: Union home secretary Anil Goswami landed today to monitor the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh amid reports that some IAS officials were not co-operating in the process, leading to a one-week backlog in the progress of work.

The appointed date for the formation of Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra is June 2 but all the paper work has been marked for completion by April-end under a deadline set by Goswami.

Secretariat sources said some senior officers had not been co-operating with chief secretary P.K. Mohanty, given a three-month extension to complete the bifurcation. He was due to retire on February 20.

Two IAS officials had protested the extension and moved the high court and the Central Administrative Tribunal, questioning why they were not promoted to take his place. They also went on protest leave but are back at work now.

“Goswami’s visit will enthuse the senior IAS official. He will clarify all doubts raised by them,” Mohanty said.

Soon after he landed here, Goswami met governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Mohanty. There has been considerable debate on the powers of the governor — undivided Andhra is now under President’s rule — and how far the model code of conduct is applicable to him.

The Union home secretary then held preliminary discussions with senior officials heading the apex committee and 15 sub-committees set up after the Andhra Pradesh reorganisation bill was passed in February.

He is scheduled to meet all IAS and IPS officials associated with the bifurcation tomorrow and apprise them of the key points in the process. He will also discuss the master plan drawn up during the creation of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.

“Goswami is here to monitor the pace of the bifurcation exercise,” an aide of the governor said, adding that all disputes on division of assets between Telangana and Seemandhra or employment issues would be forwarded to him for resolution.

There have been reports that the jobs of nearly a lakh Seemandhra employees working in the Telangana districts are on the line as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and other activist fronts are demanding that they be sent back to their native region.

An exercise is also under way to carve up the 10 Telangana districts into 18 for administrative convenience.

A separate tribunal is being set up to monitor sharing of the waters of the Krishna and Godavari between the states. “There may be a water war brewing but the Centre is ready to take up the challenge and sort out all disputes between Telangana and Seemandhra,” said one of Goswami’s aides.