Delhi PWD Secretary Ashwani Kumar has hit back at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who had accused him of not overseeing the desilting of drains, saying "negativity and squabbling attitude" does not work in such a challenging task.
In a sharp response to Kejriwal's letter to Chief Secretary MM Kutty seeking action against him, Kumar told PTI there is no scope for "indulging in blame game" with regard to monsoon preparedness.
In the letter, Kejriwal had said he had given specific instructions that the PWD secretary should himself visit important drains to ensure their desilting ahead of monsoon, but he "openly and brazenly violates" his directions.
The Delhi CM had also said the PWD secretary "refused" to step out of his air-conditioned office even when the health of the "entire population is at stake".
"The chief secretary should initiate proceedings for dereliction of duty against him. He should also personally ensure that the PWD secretary visits all drains listed by east and north Delhi mayors by this Sunday (June 18) and ensure their desilting. Visits by juniors will not be accepted," he had said.
Kejriwal's letter comes close on the heels of the PWD slapping "penal rent" of around Rs 28 lakh on the AAP for the "unauthorised occupation" of a bungalow in Rouse Avenue here.
The PWD secretary said he would submit to the chief minister a report on the ground realities with regard to the drainage system.
"Whatever work is being done is being continuously assessed... There is no scope for indulging in blame game with regard to monsoon preparedness.
"All agencies, including the Public Works Department and local bodies, need to work with sincerity... Negativity and squabbling attitude does not work in this kind of a challenging task," he said.
The AAP government and the bureaucracy have been at loggerheads on a range of issues in the past.
In December 2015, the Delhi government bureaucrats had proceeded on mass leave to protest the suspension of two DANICS-cadre officers even as the Union Home Ministry had declared the suspension as null and void.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had recently demanded the removal of the Director of Directorate of Information and Publicity after the latter denied permission for his Facebook Live event.