Was JMC Commissioner Mandeep Kaur’s transfer right or wrong?


Jammu, 30 July: In a huge reshuffle in the civil administration of Jammu and Kashmir, 29 IAS and KAS officers have found the change of office. Two cases were in limelight in particular – Asgar Hassan Samoon, the Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir who was transferred after the valley was on fire following the Hizbul Mujahideen Militant Burhan Wani’s encounter.

The second case was of JMC commissioner, Mandeep Kaur and it garnered a lot of attention merely for the reason that many parties found relief in the transfer of an officer who had found the authority to clean the city and was bang on task.

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One thing is ample clear, Kaur was rigid in her thought process and never flinched in using the JCB if it came to her attention that an illegal construction was coming up anywhere in the city, even in the peach areas. One has to, however, credit the officer for her rigidity itself because without it none of the cleansing could have been achieved.

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We can take up the example of removal of encroachment at the Gol Market area which is now a proper parking space. If things go well in future, maybe we would see a proper concrete surfaced parking area and the first steps came from a daring officer such as Kaur.

Kaur in a short span of her tenure managed to annoy a lot of people. There have been allegations that instead of finding ways to provide for better facilities making the lives of Jammuites easier, Kaur’s focus was on the demolition process.

The recent clearance of road encroachment from Amphalla to ahead of Old Janipur which involved demolishing and seizing many structures and articles actually improved the movement of traffic through the area which is perpetually congested.

One cannot expect that Jammu city can ever find a facelift without clearing of the growing, albeit illegally, concrete Jungle. It is odd that we want to continually improve as a society but we also scream in pain when the ‘few’ extra feet of illegal construction on our private or commercial buildings are removed.

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It has also been pointed out that the rehri-walas were the worst sufferers of Mandeep Kaur’s actions. Her actions were smart instead. She created Rehri-zones where the licensed Rehris could operate from and this in turn would ease the congestion in already small lanes of old city.

Let’s try and see the importance of the Rehri Zones for example. Anyone who has crossed the Bahu Plaza area in the past would have seen those Bombay Chat people and other stalls. Similarly there were scores of Moving eateries on the Apsara Road where hundreds of locals visited to munch on their favourite junk foods.

Now imagine a Rehri Zone with these eateries and no other area in the city which has them. Would not people start moving towards these zones in time? They would have to move without any other available options and what better than having enough space to park your vehicle and eating in peace without the hateful prospect of someone honking behind you or scratching the paint off your vehicle.

Order can prevail only when there are some rules to stick to. Kaur was clearly steadfast in following the rules and implementing them no matter who was getting angry. Her activity was at peak in the recent governor’s rule when former CM of the state unexpectedly passed away and that speaks volumes about the political interference when a bureaucrat tries to stick to his or her principles.

Most officers find postings because they comply, but a few like Kaur get transferred because they actually work.