The cash-strapped Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) has decided to phase out WBCS officers on deputation, as part of its economy drive. With the release of N.K. Roy from the post of deputy municipal commissioner, revenue, on Monday, three such posts have fallen vacant over the past 15 months.
Though the municipal affairs department had sent a list of officers to fill up the vacancies in the CMC, mayor Subrata Mukherjee has reportedly ignored the offer.
“We do not need a WBCS officer when an IAS officer is already working as municipal commissioner,” said officer on special duty to the mayor, Shaktibrata Ghosh, on Wednesday. The post vacated by Roy would not be filled, he added. Before Roy’s exit, two other deputy municipal commissioners, Supriya Gupta and S.N. Datta, posted at Gariahat and Behala, were released and the posts are still vacant. “The phase-out has saved us nearly Rs 1 lakh,” said Ghosh.
Sources said that instead of deputy municipal commissioners, assessors and collectors from different divisions will now be in charge of the assessment department. They will be designated immediately subordinate to the municipal commissioner.
“Only two WBCS officers are now left in the CMC,” said Ghosh. “They are Samiresh Chatterjee (personnel) and municipal secretary Sajal Bhowmik. We plan to replace them, too, with departmental officers,” Ghosh added.
The civic administration had seen a major transformation during the tenure of the former CPM-controlled board. The then municipal commissioner, Asim Barman, had inducted the WBCS officers as deputy municipal commissioners to introduce transparency in the system.
“The move by the Trinamul Congress-led board means citizens are back at the mercy of unscrupulous civic officials,” said CPM leader Sudhanshu Sil. “The Trinamul move is a calculated one. They want to run the assessment department in their own way,” said CPM councillors.
They added that municipal commissioner Debasis Som had always been out of reach of the councillors. “How will harassed citizens approach him for redressal when councillors could not reach him'” they asked.