LG shuffled PWD Secretary every 6 months, made it a "headless body": Sisodia

New Delhi [India], February 18 (ANI): Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has alleged that LG Vinai Kumar Saxena is trying to stall major infrastructure projects in the national capital by transferring the Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD) every six months, and turning it into a "headless" body.

"Since September 2020, the Delhi government has had five PWD secretaries, one every six months, and the position is currently kept vacant by Delhi’s LG, leaving many infrastructure projects in a state of disarray," Sisodia said in an official statement.

He further said that the Delhi LG is shuffling PWD Secretaries like a pack of cards and turning PWD into a headless body.

"The Delhi Government has been working tirelessly to develop the state’s infrastructure, but the LG’s frequent changes of PWD Secretaries have obstructed our progress. It is a deliberate attempt to abuse his office’s powers and derail CM Arvind Kejriwal’s vision to transform Delhi into a world-class city," Sisodia said.

As head of the department, the PWD Secretary presides over a team of over 3000 engineers and officials, provides administrative and financial approvals, and plays a critical role in coordinating the execution of infrastructure projects in the city in a timely manner.

Coming down heavily on Saxena, Sisodia also said that the decision of Delhi’s LG, who controls the transfer and postings of all bureaucrats in the Delhi Government through the Services Department, to transfer PWD Secretary once every six months has turned PWD into a "headless body" and made it impossible for PWD to function smoothly and efficiently, resulting in project delays.

Slamming the LG, Sisodia said, "The state of the PWD is a classic example of how Delhi’s LG has abused his hold over the Services department to derail the vision of CM Arvind Kejriwal to transform Delhi into a world-class city. The people of Delhi have elected us to govern.""The Delhi LG is well aware the onus and accountability of Delhi’s infrastructural progress fall upon the state government. The LG is not accountable to the public for the department’s actions. So he has chosen to play with the department like a toy and is causing severe delays resulting in inconvenience to the people of Delhi. How can a government function like this?" he added.

Sisodia, while referring to the Supreme Court where it questioned the purpose of having an elected government in Delhi if bureaucrats are controlled by the Centre, Sisodia said, "The Delhi Government has repeatedly sided the judgement of the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court dated July 4 in 2018 where it has held that Article 239AA (4) indicates that there is no independent authority vested in the LG to take decisions, except on matters where he exercises his discretion as a judicial or quasi-judicial authority under any law." (ANI)