For failing to enforce the blockade on Anand Vihar ISBT, 2 senior Delhi government officials suspended, 2 receive notice
New Delhi: By cracking down on officers for failing to enforce the Center's guidelines on the containment of Covid-19 by allowing thousands of migrant workers to congregate in large numbers at ISBT in violation of the blockade, the Home Office launched the Sunday disciplinary proceedings against four Delhi Government Officials for breach of duty.
While two officers, Additional Chief Secretary Renu Sharma (Department of Transportation) and Chief Financial Officer, were suspended with immediate effect, two other officers, the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Housing and Land Buildings Satya Gopal and Seelampur, Ajay Arora, were issued Show notices. It is also contemplating initiating higher penalty proceedings against Sharma and Verma.
A statement from the Interior Ministry released on Sunday night said: The competent authority was notified that the ... officers, who were responsible for ensuring strict compliance with the instructions issued by the president, the national executive committee, were formed. under the Disaster Management Act of 2005, regarding containment of the spread of Covid-19, prima facie did not. These officers have not guaranteed public health and safety during blocking restrictions to combat Covid-19. Due to the serious lapse in the performance of its functions, the competent authority has initiated disciplinary proceedings against the officers.
Sharma oversaw the deployment of buses to bring migrant workers to Anand Vihar ISBT and transport them to 8-9 locations in UP on Saturday. Verma was responsible for the distribution of food through hunger relief centers. He had to supervise various places in the city to make sure that DM and SDM worked to inform him.
The availability of DTC buses to transport migrant workers in large numbers to the UP and ISBT border has been at the center of the discussion regarding overcrowding of borders and interstate streets in the capital on Saturday. UP accused the Delhi government of not doing enough to detain the migrants, a charge that has been denied. Subsequently, the UP government made arrangements to transport people from the border to inland destinations to clear human stagnation.
Interior Ministry sources said they decided to initiate disciplinary action against the officers as their inability to handle the exodus of migrant workers had put large numbers of people at risk for Covid-19 infection at a time when it has affected more than 1,000 people across the country. The action is also a warning to other officers, as they enforce the guidelines issued by the Ministry of the Interior under the Disaster Management Law so that they are not lax in its implementation.
While the Seelampur SDM was issued a just cause notice when the Anand Vihar bus station falls under its jurisdiction, the transport secretary was suspended for failing to prevent/contain the congregation of large numbers of migrant workers, in violation of guidelines for social distancing, at the bus station.