New Delhi: Ashok Kumar Parmar, an IAS officer who is from the Dalit community, has accused Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha and chief secretary Arun Mehta of “inflicting harassment and humiliation upon him” because he highlighted “bunglings” in the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission.
In a complaint to the chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), Parmar – a 1992 AGMUT cadre officer – accuses Sinha and Mehta of “harassment, humiliation, intimidation, atrocious behaviour and frequent transfers for his being a Scheduled Caste solely for the reason that he blew [the] whistle and highlighted bunglings in implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission.”
Under the Jal Jeevan Mission, the Union government plans to provide every rural household with tap water by 2024.
Parmar is currently posted as chairman of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and was principal secretary of the Jal Shakti Department in J&K in May 2022, during which time he said he intimated the LG, chief secretary and other authorities about the “dismal status of implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission”, which he said was being implemented without doing SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis.
He also said that JJM works were progressing slowly “because of erroneous and faulty procedure for allotment of works” and misinterpretation of a clause of the Manual of Procurement of Works, 2019 that one contractor can be awarded only two works at a time.
According to The Statesman, Parmar claims that LG Sinha on June 6, 2022 threw him out of the meeting room with the objective to “harass and humiliate him without any fault and this was done in front of all the administrative secretaries of UT of J&K.” Chief secretary Arun Kumar Mehta on July 25, 2023 also “humiliated and threw him out of the meeting of the Committee of Secretaries without any fault”. Parmar said he has been subjected to “frequent transfers in violation of the transfer policy of the government of India.”
The complaint to the NCSC says that this process of “intimidation and harassment was done purposely due to prejudice and bias against him for being a Scheduled Caste and his act of highlighting bunglings in Jal Jeevan Mission.”
The IAS officer said he has apprehensions that LG Sinha chief secretary Mehta “might go to any extent to damage his reputation and career by implicating him in false cases as he had pointed out many financial irregularities and acts of omission and commission of Mehta, Chief Secretary, RR Bhatnagar Advisor to LG and others in the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission”, according to The Statesman.
Parmar said he has also informed the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union home ministry and the Ministry of Jal Shakti about J&K officers providing “false, concocted, misleading and factually incorrect figures regarding implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission”.