Vijayawada, July 28: Andhra Pradesh government today posted a junior IAS officer as Commissioner of the state's Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), in total contravention of the relevant law.
Cherukuri Sridhar, of the 2009 batch and currently joint collector of Guntur district and additional commissioner of CRDA, has been posted as Commissioner in the place of the 1998-batch officer N Srikanth. Section 21(1) of the AP CRDA Act, 2014 stipulates that "the government shall appoint a Commissioner as the Chief Executive of the Authority who has had the experience of working as a District Collector in the state."
Going by this, Sridhar does not qualify to hold the Commissioner's post as he is still of the joint collector cadre. Caste consideration, primarily, influenced Sridhar's posting as CRDA chief while certain other factors also worked in his favour, according to sources.
The government has been reportedly unhappy with Srikanth's performance as he could not establish proper rapport with the people in the capital region who parted with their lands for the development of Amaravati.
On the other hand, Sridhar struck a chord with the locals and saved the government from certain embarrassing situations when the farmers grew restive, they said. Local people preferred to deal with Sridhar and not Srikanth whenever a contentious issue cropped up.
But, what baffled top bureaucrats over Sridhar's new posting was the brazen violation of the AP CRDA Act wherein the eligibility criterion has been clearly specified. Srikanth has been posted as Secretary (Political) in the General Administration Department in the existing vacancy, in a minor reshuffle of bureaucrats.
Vivek Yadav (2008) has been posted as Collector of Vizianagaram district, while incumbent Mudavat M Nayak has been transferred as Chairman and Managing Director of Eastern Power Distribution Company, according to an order issued by state Chief Secretary Satya Prakash Tucker.