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IAS officer shunted after'tiff'

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Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 06.08.15, 12:00 AM

Calcutta, Aug. 5: Nandini Chakravorty was today removed as secretary of the Sunderbans affairs department in what officials said was the "fallout" of an alleged tussle with minister Monturam Pakhira over monitoring projects.

Chakravorty, a 1994-batch IAS officer, was transferred as the divisional commissioner of Presidency Range, which sources described as a less important post.

According to officials in the Sunderbans affairs department, Chakravorty wanted a series of reforms in the monitoring system of projects, which was allegedly opposed by the minister.

"It did not go down well with him.... Pakhira complained to the chief minister against Chakravorty recently. The transfer is a fallout of that," an IAS officer said.

The reforms proposed by Chakravorty included introducing a Geographical Information System to monitor projects worth over Rs 370 crore in the remote areas of the Sunderbans.

"Her proposals followed complaints that contractors were sending bills for unfinished projects. It is not possible to keep a check on each and every project physically as some of them are in remote areas. Though her proposals were appreciated by some of us, the minister did not seem to like them," an official said.

Chakravorty, once perceived to be close to the chief minister before apparently falling out with her, also wanted a technical committee to shortlist contractors for projects. "Pakhira was apparently pushing for some contractors, but the officer wanted to stick to the rulebook," the official said.

Despite repeated attempts by this paper, Chakravorty did not take calls.

Minister Pakhira described the transfer as "routine". "I shared cordial relations with the department secretary. I don't know why she was transferred. It must be routine," he said.

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