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Surprise rejig in state ranks

Patna, June 6: The state government on Friday effected major changes in the bureaucracy, close on the heels of a shuffle in the state cabinet.

As many as 51 IAS officers, including six district magistrates, were transferred.

The most surprising change came in the energy department, which after losing a “performing minister” (Bijendra Yadav) ended up losing a “performing bureaucrat” as well.

Sandeep Poundrik, who was holding the post of the energy secretary since October 2012, was seen as someone who was put on a mission to fulfil the promise made by former chief minister Nitish Kumar in August 2012 for improving the power situation in the state. He has been transferred to the urban development department.

He was given the additional charge of the power holding company in June 2013 to streamline the functioning of the power firm and maintain a proper coordination between the energy department and the firm. Given the fact that Bihar witnessed a positive change under Poundrik, the state bureaucrats were surprised by his transfer.

“Post Nitish Kumar’s resignation, things don’t appear to be working in the right manner. Else, how could the government transfer an officer who worked hard to usher in a sea change in the power sector,” said a senior Bihar cadre bureaucrat at present on central deputation.

So was the case with Pratyaya Amrit, the road construction department secretary who carried forward the good work done by then road construction principal secretary Raj Kumar Singh (now a BJP MP) in the road sector. Amrit will be the new secretary of energy department and chairman-cum-managing director of Bihar State Power (Holding) Company.

“Amrit was doing a wonderful job and he used to ensure timely completion of the projects. Don’t know how things would function in the department after his transfer as a new minister (Samrat Choudhary) has just taken charge of the department,” said another serving bureaucrat.

Surprisingly, the government has effected the second shuffle in the bureaucracy within 24 hours. On Thursday evening, the government had shifted 19 IAS officers, including 11 district magistrates.

A notification issued by the general administration department on Friday said the commercial taxes department commissioner-cum-principal secretary Narendra Kumar Sinha has been shifted to information and technology department. He was holding additional charge of information and technology department. Planning and development department principal secretary Vijoy Prakash has been made principal secretary of transport department. Prakash has also been given additional charge of transport.

Education department principal secretary Amarjeet Sinha has been shifted to social welfare department in the same capacity. Food and consumer protection department principal secretary Shishir Sinha goes to mines and geology department as its principal secretary, whereas Rajesh Gupta, additional member of revenue board, would be the new divisional commissioner of Purnea.

Sunil Kumar Singh, mines commissioner-cum principal secretary of mines and geology department, has been appointed additional member of revenue board. Outgoing revenue board additional member Shashi Shekhar Sharma has been made principal secretary of panchayati raj department. Subhash Sharma, who was holding the charge of animal and fisheries department, has been shifted to the general administration department.