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Ban on officer transfers

Itanagar, Aug. 7: The Arunachal Pradesh government has put a blanket ban on transfer of all field-level officers, including state civil services cadres, till October 31.

A government statement said the decision was taken to ensure smooth restoration of roads currently damaged by heavy monsoon showers across the state.

Surface communication has been hit hard with landslides blocking roads at several places in the state, most notably in its eastern districts. Several places in Anjaw district bordering China were cut off for weeks after heavy rainfall. Lohit and Lower Dibang valley districts have suffered similar conditions.

Although restoration has been cited as the primary reason for the ban on transfers, a source said the decision could have been motivated by another reason. He said the chief minister’s office had received close to 30 transfer requests by Arunachal Pradesh civil services officers in the last two months. Several government officers were transferred before the elections were held in April. Officials of indigenous communities serving in their home districts were moved to other places to avoid any conflict of interest.

The source said while several requests seeking transfer to the state capital have been made with the endorsement of legislators, some officials have sought transfers to remote district headquarters.

New district

A government notification declaring Namsai as the 18th district of the state with effect from July 15 was issued today.

More than a year after the Arunachal Pradesh (Re-Organisation of Districts Amendment) Act, 2013, was passed in the Assembly in March last year, Namsai has become the first of the four proposed districts to gain official recognition. The act had received governor Lt Gen. Nirbhay Sharma’s consent in March this year.

The decision may, however, lead to protests from those seeking the early creation of Lower Siang district. Besides Namsai, the act makes provisions for formation of three new districts — Kra Daadi, Siang and Lower Siang. While administrative modalities for Kra Daadi and Siang are being worked out, formation of Lower Siang has been halted because of disagreements over the location of its headquarters. Students and social organisations from the area had recently voiced opposition over the delay.