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  Opinion   Columnists  10 Feb 2021  Dilip Cherian | NGT hauls up Kerala govt for ignoring ‘legacy waste’ directive

Dilip Cherian | NGT hauls up Kerala govt for ignoring ‘legacy waste’ directive

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Published : Feb 11, 2021, 4:36 am IST
Updated : Feb 11, 2021, 4:36 am IST

The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar is moving ahead with its announcement last year of retiring identified inefficient employees

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Kerala’s chief secretary Vishwas Mehta came under fire from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) over the continued ineffective solid waste management in Kochi.

According to sources, the tribunal made scathing remarks against the state government while criticising the affidavit filed by Mehta and threatened to prosecute officers responsible for ensuring that parameters of environmental safety are met. The tribunal lamented that the chief secretary’s affidavit did not show any effective action being taken on the ground, despite several directives issued in the past two years.

 

The tribunal, quoting a report by the State Pollution Control Board, noted that the municipal authorities in Kochi were continuing unauthorised operations and were yet to start work for bio-mining.

The directive came while the tribunal was hearing a case seeking direction to take effective steps for infrastructure development for collection, storage, segregation and disposal of tonnes of waste, termed legacy waste, that has accumulated over the years in Kochi’s Brahmapuram area.

Ironically, the adverse comments come at a time when the state government claims that it is strictly following the “green protocol” and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan declared more than 11,000 government offices and public sector undertakings as “green” on Republic Day!

 

Nitish to weed out Home deadwood

The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar is moving ahead with its announcement last year of retiring identified “inefficient” employees. The state home department headed by the chief minister has set up high-level committees to implement the order.

According to sources, a committee headed by additional chief secretary of the home department Amir Subhani will deal with Group A employees of the department. The panel also includes special secretary Vikash Vaibhav, among others. The other committee will be headed by secretary of the home department, K. Senthil Kumar, and include joint secretary Bimlesh Kumar Jha, among other senior officials. It has been tasked with identifying the deadwood from among Group B, C and D employees. Both committees will meet every year in June and December to consider the proposals to retire identified officers. Further, the department has instructed all offices and directorates under it to set up such panels at their level.

 

Previously, in 2017, the state government had announced to compulsorily retire non-performing education department officials, school headmasters and teachers after disappointing Matric and intermediate exams. But the decision was not followed through, say sources. Will it be any different this time?

Return of the prodigal?

Is Shah Faesal, the former IAS officer from Jammu and Kashmir, contemplating a return to the civil service that he had quit in protest against “unabated killings” in Kashmir? A tweet by the ex-babu, who was the first Kashmiri to top the civil service exam, in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Mann Ki Baat” program seems to hint at a change of mind, say some observers. In his tweet, Faesal praised the PM’s radio programme and wrote that “communication can build solidarities…”

 

The buzz around Faesal’s plans has only grown, especially when he quit Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, the political party he had set up barely a few months later.

Interestingly, his resignation as an IAS officer in January 2019 has been kept in abeyance all this while. The government has not accepted it, pending the investigation into some of his social media posts.

That it was never accepted means that the door is still open for him to rejoin the IAS. Watch this space for updates!

Tags: ias officers, kerala’s chief secretary vishwas mehta, national green tribunal, bihar officers, shah faesal, the former ias officer, jammu and kashmir