The Karnataka government has transferred two IAS officers at the helm of administration in the heritage city of Mysore, two days after a feud between them turned ugly.
The transfers notified late Saturday night come after chief secretary P Ravi Kumar reviewed the situation where both the deputy commissioner of Mysore and the Mysore city corporation commissioner were on warpath.
Two days ago, MCC commissioner Shilpa Nag had threatened to quit over “humiliation and harassment” by DC Rohini Sindhuri.
It has been just eight months since Sindhuri was appointed DC but her term has been mired in quite a bit of controversy.
While Nag’s teary-eyed press conference announcing that she would quit the services as all officers were being harassed by the DC was the latest in this, Sindhuri has earlier been criticised by MLAs and MPs from across party lines.
The government had also begun an enquiry on why she was building an indoor swimming pool and gym in the government provided quarters, which is a heritage building where such constructions are not allowed. The enquiry report is to be submitted by early next week, but there has been an outcry about how Rs 50 lakh could be spent for a private gym and pool when the government is short of funds and fighting a pandemic.
Sindhuri’s name has also been dragged in a case in the Karnataka High Court over how the DC could permit a private visit to the famed Srikanteshwara Temple in Nanjangud in her district, when lockdown rules strictly restrict such visits by any one at any temple. Temples are open only for daily pujas and rituals by priests, and not for the public, but chief minister’s son BY Vijayendra and his wife managed to gain access to the premises despite the lockdown.
The cold war between the two officers was more pronounced last week, with Sindhuri raising many questions about Nag’s functioning.
She issued notices to Nag about not being able to start any Covid care centres in the city, though in other parts/taluks and villages of Mysore district, officials had been able to open 18 CCCs in the last 20 days.
She also accused Nag of furnishing conflicting data on Covid cases and deaths.
While Sindhuri as DC headed the administration of the entire district, Nag as commissioner of the city corporation headed work of the city corporation.
However, to put an end to this ongoing turf war, the government on Saturday night transferred both officers to the state capital, Bengaluru.
Sindhuri has now been appointed the Commissioner for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, while Nag will be Director (e-governance), Rural Development & Panchayat Raj department.
Mysore gets a new DC in Dr Bagadi Goutham, and a new commissioner for MCC in Lakshmikanth Reddy.
Just hours before the transfer orders came, Sindhuri issued fresh guidelines for Covid management in Mysore. She ordered that essential shops selling groceries, vegetables and fruits be open from 6 am to 10 am on only three days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This would be in force for the week from June 7 to June 14.
The Karnataka government had allowed essential shops to function for four hours across the state (6 am to 10 am) on all days of the week. It had also relaxed some norms to allow export-oriented units to restart operations, while stretching the lockdown till June 14.