Administrative mess: Frequent transfers stall WB-funded project in J&K

PMU overseeing Rs 1500 Cr mega development initiative sees 13 bosses in 5 years

Srinagar, Mar 17 : It seems that J&K government is still struggling to implement the Rs 1500 Crore World Bank funded project as there is no end to frequent transfers of its chief executive officer (CEO).

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), in the past five years, the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) set-up by the government to implement mega development initiative, has seen 13 officers taking up the mantle for short stints.

The frequent transfers of its CEO have raised questions from different quarters, with the World Bank also expressing concern over it. In latest move, the government posted Syed Abid Rashid Shah, IAS officer, as CEO of the project. The position of CEO was held by Rohit Kansal, principal secretary Planning Development and Monitoring Department, from January 11 this year.

Documents available with KNO reveal that Mandeep Bhandari was posted as first CEO of the project by PDP- BJP government in March 2015. Bhandari did not join, leaving the position vacant for more than two months.

In May 2015, Dheeraj Gupta took over as first CEO and headed the project for five months (18-05-2015 to 18-10-2015). In October 2015, Sandeep Nayak was appointed as its CEO and he held the position for one month and seven days (19-10-2015 to 26-11-2015). After Nayak, Navin Choudhary took over its head in last week of November 2015 and remained in position for more than seven months (27-11-2015 to 18-07-2016). B. B. Vyas, one of the topmost bureaucrat in the erstwhile state of J&K, took up mantle of the project in July 2016 and held the assignment for more than nine months (29-7-16 to 10-05-17).

After Vyas’s was shifted from the project, Nayak was brought as CEO of the project second time in May 2017. Like his first term, Nayak’s second tenure did not last long and he remained there for nearly four months (11-5-17 to 25-09-17). In September 2017, Sourabh Baghat was assigned the position of CEO of the project and he held the charge for little over two- and–a-half months (26 -09-2017 to 14-12-2017)

After shifting of Baghat, Vinod Sharma was brought as CEO of the project and he remained there for 10 months (15-12-2017 to 12-10-2018). Later, Satish Razdan’s tenure as CEO proved shortest among all project heads appointed since 2015. Razdan held the position only for three days (12-10-2018 to 15-10-2018) before being replaced by young IAS officer Raghav Langar.

Langar held the position for eight and-a-half months (16-10-2018 to 01-07-2019). After Langar, Vikas Kundal helmed the project for little over a month ( 01-07-2019 to 08-08-2019).Kundal was replaced by Avny Lavassa, who held the position for more than four months (9-8-2019 to 11-01-2020),before government burdened Rohit Kansal with additional charge of the project—(KNO)