Update: People’s power won! The Karnataka government has decided to retain D Randeep as the Special Commissioner of BBMP, following intense protests by Bengaluru citizens and civic organisations, who cited his excellent track record in resolving solid waste management issues in the city.
In an interesting turn of events in Bengaluru last week, the abrupt transfer of a civil servant was met with enormous dissent and that too, by citizens!
In fact, an online petition on Change.org as well as social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter have surfaced, demanding that the state government retain the officer in the current position.
D Randeep, an IAS officer, was serving as the Special Commissioner in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), for the last six months, before a bureaucratic reshuffle happened on Friday, and he was transferred to the Social Welfare Department as a Commissioner.
The online petition with a #WeNeedRandeep hashtag has already been signed by over 700 supporters, who have objected to the officer’s sudden transfer.
“Randeep is an outstanding officer—collaborative, has started an app, and is clear about following Supreme Court guidelines on animal welfare while protecting children and humans. We need D Randeep to continue his good work for the city, and the civic situation on waste and health will have to bear the brunt,” the petition mentioned.
During his 6-month stint, the officer had won the hearts of the residents of Bengaluru after he initiated several reforms in the waste management and animal husbandry departments.
Some of his noteworthy initiatives include the beautification of garbage ‘blackspots’ across the city as well as reorganising many waste management mechanisms, of which one included hiring marshals to monitor littering.
He also played a crucial role in adding conditions to the new garbage tender that ruled out many of the loopholes cleverly milked by garbage contractors.
“Also, he had proposed to place GPS on auto tippers and compactors so that the vehicles could be traced through a centralised SWM control room. Contractors were unhappy about this. BBMP authorities found that at least 40 per cent of the existing auto tippers were not registered and not working,” a BBMP official told The New Indian Express.
Interestingly, his last posting was also rather abrupt and had also sparked objection amongst the residents.
While the #WeNeedRandeep petition is gaining momentum, the unassuming officer has maintained that he will not be contesting the order and will follow government orders, as he has in the past.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)