Agriculture production commissioner Prabhat Kumar looks after 20 depts along with basic education.
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh is facing a shortage of senior IAS officers which is now reflecting directly on the governance, rather lack of it, in the state.
The result is that senior officers have been saddled with more than one department and they are unable to give the time and energy needed to focus on the departments they are assigned.
For instance, deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya heads the PWD while deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma holds charge of secondary and higher education. Both the ministers share one additional chief secretary, Sanjay Agarwal, who looks after all three departments and juggles his time and priorities between them.
Similarly, the agriculture production commissioner Prabhat Kumar looks after 20 departments along with basic education while principal secretary information Avanish Awasthi juggles between information, tourism, UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority and now has been given charge of the home department as well.
Talking about the situation, a Cabinet minister said, “Whenever I want to discuss some issue related to my department with the principal secretary, he sends me a text message that he is with the chief minister, who heads one of the departments he holds charge of. As a result, I am unable to work with the speed I would like to and several decisions are left pending”.
Some other officers holding charge of more than one important department are Kalpana Awasthi (excise and environment), Renuka Kumar (Women welfare, revenue. mining) , Alok Sinha (commerce, IT and electronics) and Alok Kumar (power and chairman of Power Corporation)
Even the UP chief secretary Anup Chandra Pandey is holding additional charge of the industrial development commissioner because the state government has not found a replacement after he became chief secretary last month.
A senior IAS officer said, “Officers who hold charge of more than one department are not willing to let go because they enjoy the additional power. There is a trust deficit between the political leaders and the bureaucrats.”