Citing VIP culture, Punjab health secy dismisses 22 lab technicians

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Written by Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh | Published: June 20, 2020 3:27:25 pm

Punjab coronavirus, Punjab covid deaths, Punjab news, Punjab health secretary, Punjab lab technicians, Indian express The order also says that 27 technicians are working in the district hospital against the sanctioned posts of five. (representational)

Putting the menace of “VIP culture” and use of “influence to stall transfers” on paper, Punjab’s Health Secretary Anurag Aggarwal on Friday dismissed/terminated the contracts of 22 lab technicians posted in District Hospital, Amritsar, and ordered repatriation of all employees of health department who were staying put at the choice of their station of posting by way of “internal adjustments”.

The dismissal/ termination of contracts of 22 lab technicians and the repatriation, amid Covid, comes with the Health Secretary invoking Article 311(2) (b) of Constitution of India and Disaster Management Act.

In his orders, issued to Director Health and Family Welfare, Aggarwal has written that ”we have to come out of VIP culture. Since all the surplus lab technicians are very influential, no fair inquiry can be held against them. Therefore under article 311(2) (b) of Constitution of India, they are dismissed from the service and if some of them are on contract, their contracts are to be terminated with immediate effect”.

The order also says that 27 technicians are working in the district hospital against the sanctioned posts of five. “I have requested many times to rationalise and send back the surplus lab technicians to their respective place of postings but it seems that due to their influence they still continue to work at Amritsar.“

Aggarwal told The Indian Express that he had directed the director several times to pull out these lab technicians several times in the past but they were managing to stay put. “We are fighting Covid and people use their influence to stay put. When we do not need so many people at one place and need them at the other, there is no point in allowing them to work at the station of their choice. “

He said he had issued orders under the Disaster Management Act to cancel all transfers due to internal arrangements. “There are so many people who are staying put because of their influence. Nobody is getting away now,” he said.

Sources said Aggarwal’s action is set to annoy several ministers and MLAs, who have been pushing for the lab technicians and other employees not to be transferred.
The action could add another chapter to the ongoing confrontation between the politicians and bureaucrats in Punjab.

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