NOIDA: Despite effecting more than 1,200 transfers of senior IAS and PCS officers since it came to power, the Uttar Pradesh government has failed to fill up two key posts in Noida Authority. The positions of the chairman and CEO of the Authority have been vacant for the past one-and-a-half months. Though the additional CEO of the Authority has pitched in to handle the day-to-day affairs, the inability of the government to appoint the officials is taking a toll on pending projects.
Just two days after Akhilesh Yadav took the oath of office, the state government removed former CEO of Noida SK Dwivedi and chairman of Noida Mohinder Singh. The senior-most officer in the Authority at present is ACEO Anil Rajkumar who can take decisions on the routine functioning of the Authority.
While no announcement of a timeline for posting officials and Authority officials unaware of the next change of guard, residents are in a state of confusion, not only about their problems but also the several projects that continue to remain in limbo. Projects like the Metro extension, part of the phase-III plan, are awaiting the signature of the Noida chief. “Until the chairman signs on the dotted line, the proposed project will not take off,” said a senior official. “Projects like the widening of the NH-24 and the go-ahead for building underpasses as well as flyovers along the route also remain at a nascent stage,” he added. Another project that needs the Noida chief’s stamp is the alternate bridge that has to be constructed at Kalindi Kunj over the Okhla barrage. The decision on the toll tax for Noida-Greater Noida Expressway is also uncertain.
That’s not all. The Authority is yet to chart out an annual budgetary plan for Noida. Moreover, policy decisions have come to a halt and decisions with financial implications have been indefinitely delayed. The board meeting which is jointly held with Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authorities has also been postponed as there is no clarity over who would head these meetings. “We are left with little choice but to just review pending routine infrastructure projects. The board meeting would have thrown some light on what projects would have been taken up on priority basis in the near future,” said another senior Noida official.
Residents too have been complaining of neglect regarding day-to-day development and maintenance work. “Routine civic works in several sectors are pending. Enforcement of the model code of conduct, the poll process, the transfers of bureaucrats and now the vacancies have all resulted in a freeze on works,” said Suresh Tiwari of Federation of Noida RWAs.
Meanwhile, farmers in the region are also getting jittery as their issues are pending in the absence of the top officials. Be it the decision on the identification of the land that is to be given to them under the Abadi land policy or even higher compensation to be paid to them, all are awaiting further instructions.