Kathmandu, May 28
Following criticism from all quarters, the government has brought back former director general of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) – Rupnarayan Bhattarai – to the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (MoPIT).
Though the Cabinet meeting last week had transferred Bhattarai to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS), the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) transferred Bhattarai back to MoPIT on Sunday. However, Bhattarai’s new role at the MoPIT is still undecided.
Madhusudan Adhikari, secretary at MoPIT, confirmed Bhattarai had been transferred back to MoPIT from MoLESS.
Though Bhattarai was the persistent force that brought the syndicate system in the transportation sector to a rightful end, Transport Minister Raghubir Mahaseth had earlier ordered Bhattarai’s transfer to MoPIT citing that the latter was unsupportive to the ministry’s officials and its decisions.
MoPIT sources said Bhattarai could be given back the leadership role at DoTM as top post at DoTM has remained vacant after his transfer.
Talking to The Himalayan Times, Adhikari said nothing concrete had been decided related to Bhattarai’s new role. “I will soon hold a meeting with MoPIT leadership to discuss Bhattarai’s new role,” he said, adding that DoTM leadership could be one of the options.
However, Transport Minister Mahaseth was unwilling to talk to THT on Bhattarai’s transfer. “I am busy,” he said.
Meanwhile, MoPIT leadership and bureaucrats are divided over scrapping syndicate system in the transportation industry and Bhattarai’s transfer. Mahaseth had transferred Bhattarai at the time when Transport Secretary Adhikari was saying that it was not the right time to transfer him and that his work performance at DoTM was commendable.
Bhattarai has been saying that he will act against anomalies in whichever sector that the government assigns him to.
A version of this article appears in print on May 29, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.