Sunday, 28 February 2016

Revenue Department Postings

Transfers mean a a lot to the officers of Revenue Department of Government of Maharashtra. The months of March-April-May are heart wrenching months for these bureaucrats ranging from  the ranks of Deputy Registrar to Deputy Collector. After this new Government was formed in November 2014 in Maharashtra, without any prejudice or any doubt when Minister Eknath Khadse took control of this department, I knew there will be a story in this for sure. In our political circles,  it is a known fact that every bureaucrat is close to some or the other Minister either through his old alliance or through his spread of friends in the Revenue Department. Today's Ministers, were in  opposition party for almost 15 years; so these MLA's use to come to Mantralay for their work since then. Hence for followups, meeting with bureaucrats was routine. This time frame was enough for the bureaucrats to gain trusts of the MLA's, ruling today.  For example, in Nagpur,  even a hotelier is close to the Chief Minister and even a Sales Tax officer knows Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar personally.

So closeness to Ministers and MLA meant "usage of such contacts" for Transfers. Ideally, if any bureaucrat is placed in any posting, it is mandatory for him or her to stay at that post for a minimum period of 3 years. After completion of his tenure, Government has the option of placing him some place else depending on the manpower requirement and yes, how many recommendation letters he gets! But our bureaucrats are one step ahead! Not only many of them get themselves transferred at places of their choice, but also if the Government has given them a X posting, they never resume their charge there. Using influence and power of money these bureaucrats amongst themselves find another bureaucrat say Y who is wanting a placement in the same area where his X person was posted by the Government, now both of them pitch in to the department and exchange postings. But this is done at a price! Now hangon, this procedure is only for the people who want to get posted at cream posts outside the mantralaya. In the Mantralaya, there are two terms which are used by these bureaucrats to benefit themselves rather than the system. One is "Deputation" and the other is "Loan Basis".  In both the cases, the officer is required to return back to his/her parent department after the allotted time frame/work is completed. Son/Daughter in class 10th or 12th OR Parents have become old or alone, are the common reasons, I found these errant officers give whilst getting their transfers done.

Simple example to cite. One officer who has reputation of "no compromise" (believe me, he will only give the impression but will accept expensive gifts for his daughter and family) Atul Khanolkar was a normal Asst Commissioner at Sales tax based in Mumbai. If anyone reading this and is not familiar, Sales Tax comes under Finance Ministry. That means Khanolkar must possess knowledge anything related to finance. So he should work with department related to it, correct? But here, it is surprising that in the new Government once while I was taking rounds in mantralaya, I see Atul Khanolkar posted as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Minister Chandrakant Patil. Now this Minister has departments like PWD, Co-operation and believe me nothing to do with Finance. So how did Atul Khanolkar come here? It seems he has come on "Deputation". Now this policy of loan basis and deputing someone anywhere needs to be reviewed. It is in the hands of the General Administraton Department. Bhagwan Sahay, an able IAS officer incharge of this GAD is forming a new policy on Deputation. Readers, you will be surprised to know that there are many many officers who till date have never gone back to their parent department citing Deputation as their reason.

Another example that can stated is that of Krishna Jadhav, now an Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Industries Minister Subhash Desai is originally from Revenue Department. But as destiny unfolds, a very powerful Congress Neta also known as "dada" in Konkan happens to know Krishna Jadhav very well. Apparently Mrs. Dada also inaugurated a beauty parlour which Krishna Jadhav's wife opened years ago. Krishna Jadhav is basically from Revenue Department who as per his connections mentioned above never resumed his charge as Deputy Collector anywhere. He straight went to his political boss cum friend cum relative and joined MIDC. A revenue officer in MIDC ? again in MIDC  the CEO transferred him to some place else, again Mr. Jadhav went to the ex Industries Minister and straight away, ignoring CEO, got a plum posting as Regional Officer Mhape in Navi Mumbai. In short, coming originally from Revenue Department, never ever Krishna Jadhav has seen his parent department never gone outside Mumbai. Now Jadhav is posted with Minister as OSD. Here also Krishna Jadhav did not stop his antics. Again A sales tax officer Mr. Garje was appointed as Private Secretary to the Minister. But again the whole department was controlled by Jadhav. Apparently there was a rumour that the PS was only responsible for taking couriers. Also Mr. Garje's image was responsible for his sending off back to the MIDC.  Now ex RO-Mhape  Dilip Ghutte, who had served after Krishna Jadhav left as RO-Mhape, is now PS to the Minister. Both Ghutte and Jadhav are having a gala time and tarnishing the image of otherwise decent Subhash Desai. Very soon I will be exposing a a big scam done by these duo under the nose of clean Minister and CM with M/s RPG Life Sciences plot at Mhape.

How exchanges take place understand below:

Dr. S Savargaonkar: Now this gentleman has worked with our ex Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavhan as Private Secretary and also at MIDC as General Manager (PRO) when the President's rule was imposed in Maharashtra. When Prithviraj Chavhan government changed hands, this Dr Savargoankar got himself posted at MIDC. I fail to understand how a revenue department can go to MIDC? Then gentleman pays his visit to a Minister from Pune and gets a recommendation letter to transfer him elsewhere. Revenue Department, even though he hasn't completed 3 years at MIDC, based on the letter of Minister, now gives him a post of Deputy Collector Osmanabad. Now Dr. Savargaokar is not the one to take things what Government gives. He finds another way to avoid this posting and meets one Dr. Pradip Marwaale who is posted as Director-Mahsul Prabhodhini at Aurangabad. These two exchange more than words, I am sure! Apparently Dr. Marwaale is having some disease and is a regular traveller to Latur, his hometown. Now both come with up exchange offers. Dr. Savargaokar "Demands" government to put him in Aurangabad (his hometown) and shift Dr. Marwaale to Latur ( so that he can spend quality time with his parents). So Dr. Savargaonkar is now finally at Aurnagabad and Dr. Marwaale has been transferred to Latur. Post at Osmanabad which was officially vacant,  still remains so! Now apparently MIDC's post of Dr Savargaonkar is occupied by Rajendra Ahirwar (yes the same person who was Private Secretary to then Minister-Food & Civil Supply Anil Deshmukh ).

This is how arrangements in Revenue Department are made as per your contacts you can go to places. Also, this is not a tradition that has just started. It has existed in the system since ages, and if gossips are to be believed, Minister Eknath Khadse is trying to uproot the problem with his own hands. A new policy has been drafted to stop this errant babus who are not ready to leave plump positions even if they are transferred. Then what happens, good officers with more sound knowledge and guts remain somewhere in the far fetched Maharashtra leaving the state HO, at the mercy of these  errant officers.  Will also in my next blog, handover a list of such officers who from years are only on "Deputation". 

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