Opposition leader M.K. Stalin on Sunday challenged Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to order a CBI inquiry into the transfer of the Chief Engineer of the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration and replace him with another engineer, who is on extension.
“Since the Chief Minister always says that he is ready for any inquiry let him order a CBI inquiry. If the Chief Minister is not ready for it, the Centre, through the CBI, can initiate an inquiry, since it is getting funding from them,” Mr. Stalin said in a statement.
He said the transfer of Mr. Natarajan was shocking, especially when he was in-charge of projects with a collective value of about ₹12,000 crore, including the Smart Cities Mission. “Though it is not new that IAS officials and others, who could not cooperate with Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani, to face transfers, this illegal change has paved the way for corruption in 121 municipalities and 15 municipal corporations,” Mr. Stalin alleged.
He said Mr. Natarajan was replaced by Mr. Pugazhendhi and it was against rules since engineers from the Chennai Municipal Corporation should not be appointed as the Chief Engineer of the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration.
“Mr. Pugazhendi was due to retire in June 2016 but was given an extension and made Principal Engineer as per the letter written by the Chennai Corporation Commissioner. This happened only in his case and on the grounds that he was in-charge of projects worth ₹5,000 crore. After getting four extensions, now he has been made the Chief Engineer,” the DMK president said.
A thorough investigation was necessary to find out whether the move was a proper one, he added.