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New PCBA chief to streamline functions

By Rituraj Borthakur

GUWAHATI, June 8 - Taking charge of the Pollution Control Board, Assam (PCBA) at a time when it is in utter disarray, the new Chairman of Board AM Singh said that some �harsh� decisions will have to be taken to restore the lost image of the organisation.

The senior IFS officer admitted that for the last two/three years �nothing was happening� in the PCBA and the organisation has turned into a mere licensing authority.

�There are a few things which I would like to do � enhance the revenue which has dropped from Rs 26 crore to Rs 19 crore, put in place proper service rules, streamline budget and expenditure and ensure the Board is constituted as early as possible as many decisions are pending before the Board,� Singh told The Assam Tribune.

The Board has not been constituted since 2011.

Interestingly, the Board also does not have notified service rules till date.

�The Board has around 250 employees, including 53 fourth grade staff and 18 drivers. The monthly salary bill comes to around Rs 1.2 crore. We have to ensure proper utilisation of manpower. We will have to see if the cadre strength is optimum, less or in excess. In fact, all the recruitment done in the last six months will come under scrutiny,� the Chairman said.

Sources said in absence of notified service rules, some questionable recruitment were carried out in the board.

He also said licenses and permissions given during the last six months will also be reviewed. The scrutiny will be done sector-wise.

Singh, who summoned the heads of the eight regional offices of the Board, said the reasons for the drop in revenue would be deliberated upon. �We are going to set targets now. The performance appraisals will be linked to the fulfillment of the targets. We will have to generate our own revenue and use it,� he said.

Singh has formed a core team to prepare an action plan.

�We will prepare an action plan in 15 days. We will then make a presentation before the government. Focus will be on capacity building and research. We will have to think out of the box and restore the lost image of the Board,� he added.

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