Bright beginning but not many bright spots

Dec 25 2012, 01:12 IST
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SummaryFor a year that got off to a good start, 2012 ended in a whimper for the UT Administration.

For a year that got off to a good start, 2012 ended in a whimper for the UT Administration. The year began on a positive note with the Ministry of Home Affairs, after many years, finally sanctioning four posts: two at the secretary level and two at the additional secretary level, to ensure the smooth functioning of the UT Administration.

While the decision was good news bringing with it hopes of better and efficient governance, it, however, triggered a cadre war between officials of Punjab, Haryana and those of the AGMUT cadre serving in the Administration.

So much so, that till date, only one additional secretary post has been filled while three of the key posts continue to lie vacant. It even led to the chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana intervening and taking up the matter with the then home minister.

Finally, when there appeared threats to the 60:40 ratio of Punjab and Haryana officers serving in UT, the then Home Minister P Chidambaram wrote to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that the ratio will be respected and adhered to.

The biggest blow to the UT Administration, however, came when the Supreme Court quashed the land acquisition for the IT Park phase III. The Administration had acquired the land after paying a paltry compensation to farmers, a section of whom then approached the apex court.

Not only was the UT Administration told to return the land, measuring 272 acres, but the court also took the then UT Administration officials to task, holding them responsible for trying to benefit certain private players. With this, the UT administrations ambitious plans to expand its IT sector came crashing down.

Further, a slew of failed mega- projects including the Film city, Theme-cum-amusement park, Medicity, last year seems to have had a bearing as no new project for the development of the city, was mooted in 2012.

Quote, unquote

On the day of the High Court verdict removing the disturbed area tag for Chandigarh, UT Administrator and Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil had this to say: The court has quashed the disturbed area tag of Chandigarh and we have to follow the same. In future, however, if anything happens, we cannot say anything about it. The tag has been removed by the court and not the UT Administration. This tag had been retained here for some reasons including some reports from intelligence agencies

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