- Chairman issues two directives to staff; says those are in public interest
- Commissioner clarifies he has full control over employees as per law
Mysore/Mysuru: Ever since the transfer episode of Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) Commissioner Dr. D.B. Natesh began to unfold, there seems to be a cold war between the Commissioner and MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev. This stalemate has caused confusion among the MUDA officers as to whose orders have to be obeyed.
Dr. Natesh has been transferred out of MUDA twice and he continues in the post following a ruling by Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) that has stayed his transfer orders as Dr. Natesh had questioned his premature shifting from the post. Armed with the KAT order, he is discharging his duties at present.
KAS Officer G.T. Dinesh Kumar, who had come to occupy Dr. Natesh’s place, had to return to his parent posting following the KAT ruling favouring Dr. Natesh and he has now approached the Karnataka High Court.
In the midst of all this, Rajeev has sent a note to the Commissioner and staff on Tuesday asking them not to take any major decision on MUDA affairs or policies as there is a case in the High Court regarding the transfer of the MUDA Commissioner.
The note, seen as a move to curtail the powers of the Commissioner, stated that before any policy decision is taken regarding MUDA administration, the Commissioner, section heads and the staff should wait till the matter is adjudicated in the Court.
In another note, the Chairman has asked Special Tahsildars of all six MUDA Zones to issue Khatas and modify Khatas. The Commissioner and the MUDA Secretary have been kept out of these powers. Rajeev has argued that the Khata issuing and modification powers have been given to Special Tahsildars in public interest and to decentralise powers. There is no intention of curtailing any officer’s powers, he clarified.
The Chairman’s two notes have caused huge confusion as there is no one to take any decision on MUDA administration. If the contents of the note is followed, a question arises as to who will take a decision on certain important administrative aspects at MUDA.
As per rule, the Chairman can decide on issues during MUDA meetings and to implement these decisions, the Commissioner has to make provisions and the Chairman has no role in this. Section heads and staff are a confused lot as to whose orders to obey — the Chairman or the Commissioner.
The employees are worried about the plight of MUDA if they are forced to wait till the High Court adjudicates the case as this would bring all the file movements in MUDA into a grinding halt. As it is, the public has to wait for months for any small work to be undertaken by MUDA.
As per law, all the officers and section heads come under the purview of the Commissioner and Dr. Natesh has latched on to this provision and has asked the officers to function normally as the Chairman’s note does not apply to them.
‘I have no personal grudge against anyone’
There is no cold war in MUDA and I am functioning as MUDA Commissioner as the KAT has stayed my premature transfer. I am efficiently discharging my duties and will continue to do so as a Government servant. I have no personal grudge against anyone and my intention is to do good work before I leave office. As a Commissioner, the law allows me to have control over the staff and the Chairman doesn’t have powers here. I have no idea on what basis the Chairman has issued directions to the staff and section heads not to discharge their duties till the Court hears the transfer case.” – Dr. D.B. Natesh, Commissioner, MUDA
‘I have received complaints from public’
I have received a series of complaints from the public regarding gross delay in MUDA issuing Khata and Khata modification. These powers have been handed over to six MUDA Special Tahsildars as there has to be decentralisation of powers and delay must be avoided. Earlier too, the Special Tahsildars had the authority on Khata and it was handed over to the MUDA Secretary eventually. Usually, the MUDA Secretary is busy with other work and that is why I have issued this order. There is no intention of curtailing powers of any officer. I have done it in public interest.” – H.V. Rajeev, Chairman, MUDA