State divided into 5 clusters of districts


Staff member
Chandigarh November 23:

In a major reorganisation of administrative control in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has divided the entire state into five clusters of districts with the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and the Deputy Chief Minister’s Office (DCMO) heads made in charge of these clusters.

While the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, DS Guru, has been made the overall in charge of the five clusters as well as direct in charge of four districts, Special Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister would be handling the other clusters of districts.

Highly placed sources stated that the reorganisation had been done to ensure better review of the development projects and schemes undertaken by the government. Also these officers would act as the coordinating officers between the officers of the district administration and their administrative departments so that various bottlenecks in the functioning could be removed.

Sources add that the Chief Minister has asked Chief Secretary SC Agarwal to issue instructions to the various administrative secretaries as well as the Deputy Commissioners. The new system becomes effective immediately. Guru will be in charge of Ludhiana, Sangrur, Moga and Barnala while Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, who is the Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister will be in charge of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur and Mohali. KJS Cheema, Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, will be in charge of the cluster of districts including Bathinda, Mansa, Muktsar and Faridkot.

Vishvajeet Khanna, Special Principal Secretary to the Deputy Chief Minister, will be looking after the districts Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, SBS Nagar and Hoshiarpur. Gagandeep Singh Brar, who is the Additional Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, will be taking care of Patiala, Ferozepur, Tarn Taran and Kapurthala.

The sources add that these officers will seek the intervention of the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Guru, in case any complication that might arise in any of these clusters. These officers are expected to physically visit the districts they are heads of and see for themselves the pace of the various prestigious projects that have been undertaken by the government. These officers have also been authorised to conduct surprise checks within their districts to ensure that the district administration is carrying out the work effectively.

The sources pointed out what while this system had been put in place as an additional system to quicken the pace of development in the state, the routine review processes of the state administration would continue as such. “The Chief Secretary is in charge of reviewing all the projects and he would continue to carry out his work as it is,” said a source.