Two years after the transfer of an IAS officer posted as a special commissioner to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) sparked dissent among residents, another abrupt transfer has taken place yet again.
On Friday, in another reshuffle of the state’s bureaucracy, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy transferred 2006-batch IAS officer D Randeep, who was posted as Additional Commissioner (Administration) BBMP, to the post of Commissioner in the Social Welfare Department. Randeep had served six months in his previous post.
According to citizen activists working with the BBMP on solid waste management, Randeep was open to initiating various reforms in the waste management and animal husbandry departments. Incidentally, Randeep was left out of a delegation headed by Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara (also the Deputy CM) that is currently in France to study the feasibility of waste to energy plants and waste management processes of French municipalities.
In a stark resemblance to this transfer, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had shunted out current Kalaburgi Regional Commissioner Subodh Yadav and then special commissioner (solid waste management) of the BBMP in June 2016. He was also popular among citizens for attempting to reform garbage management via multi-level contracts, but was given marching orders within just eight months of being in the role.
“Randeep had brought so much positive energy and attitude that made us believe in BBMP again. Are powers that exist allergic to praise of BBMP? First it was Subodh Yadav and now it’s Randeep. Why does the government not want anyone who wages war against waste?” a long-term civic activist wondered, while another activist questioned, “Is the garbage mafia behind the transfer?”
D Randeep told TNM that he will not contest the order, saying, “I have always followed government orders and will do so in future too.”
Following the transfer order, citizens have started a Change.org petition to voice their opposition to Randeep’s transfer. At the time of writing, more than 500 people had signed the petition seeking reinstatement of the officer. A similar petition to reinstate Subodh Yadav had got the support of close to 3,500 persons.