The district magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh was on Monday transferred after Chief Minister Adityanath visited Noida to assess the coronavirus situation, reported PTI. Gautam Buddha Nagar district has reported 38 coronavirus cases in the state – the highest.
Hours before the transfer, a video of Adityanath’s meeting showed him shouting at officials for failing to control the coronavirus spread. “Stop this nonsense,” he was purportedly heard saying, PTI reported. “It is because of this nonsense that this is the situation today. Instead of fulfilling your responsibilities, you keep passing the buck. We had issued orders two months ago, the order was for the entire state.”
It is not clear if the chief minister was furious at District Magistrate Brijesh Narain Singh specifically.
Adityanath reportedly came down heavily on the officers for not taking tough action against a private company, which the health department suspects to be directly or indirectly linked to nearly two dozen positive cases in the district.
In a briefing, Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary RK Tiwari told reporters that Singh has been removed and that Indian Administrative Service officer Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj has been appointed in his place. A departmental inquiry has also been initiated against Singh for allegedly leaking his leave application to the media.
“District Magistrate BN Singh has been removed and attached to Board of Revenue,” Tiwari said.
“Departmental inquiry has also been initiated against him. The infrastructure and industrial development commissioner has been asked to initiate the probe against him.”
He added that Singh has been removed for his failure in carrying out work to control the spread of coronavirus.
Singh had written a letter to Tiwari after the meeting with Adityanath, saying he does not want to continue on the post because of personal reasons. “Hence, relieve me from the post of district magistrate and grant me three months earned leave and since in the present situation due to Covid-19 outbreak it is essential that no administrative laxity takes place, please appoint some other officer as the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar,” he added.
Paramilitary troops and policemen were also seen on roads in Noida on Monday, making announcements on loudspeakers and asking people to stay indoors. The Centre had on Sunday asked states to strictly enforce the orders to ensure social distancing.