GUWAHATI, Sept 8 - In a major decision aimed at bringing about efficiency and transparency, the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) has set in motion a massive reshuffle exercise, redistributing the work to its officers and staff.
The move came a day after Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya visited the PCBA and reviewed the functioning of the board which had been dogged by complaints and controversies for the last several years.
In the first phase of the reshuffle, five zonal heads were reshuffled today.
Sources said the �down below� staff of the zonal heads would also be reshuffled. There will be a similar rejig of the regional heads as well.
�The Forest Minister has been talking about better performance, integrity and transparency. He has instructed that there should be optimum use of the staff. Accordingly, the reshuffle exercise has been initiated. Some of the officers were at the same table for over five to six years, which led to complacency and inefficiency,� sources close to the minister told this newspaper, admitting that there were complaints against a section of the staff as well.
Meanwhile, PCBA acting Chairman AM Singh, in a directive, has barred physical interaction of the officials of the zonal office with industry representatives and applicants seeking any consent. �The applications are forwarded by the regional office. If there is any query from the zonal office, it should be through the regional office and not directly. No applicants should be called to the zonal office,� the directive said.
This move comes amidst complaints that applicants are called by officials at the zonal office on small pretexts and harassed unnecessarily.
In another move, the Chairman has also directed that after consent is given online, the certificate for the same has to be uploaded within 72 hours. If it is not done, the zonal heads will be taken to task, the sources said.
�Earlier, the officials used to take a lot of time to issue the certificate under some pretext or the other. This will not be the case anymore. There will be a system to monitor the time taken to issue a consent and certificate. Every Monday, the progress will be reviewed,� the sources added.