Home Dehradun Baweja not first Director, Horticulture, to face allegations

Baweja not first Director, Horticulture, to face allegations

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 15 Sep: Agriculture and Horticulture Minister Ganesh Joshi has ordered an inquiry into some complaints received against the Director of Horticulture Department, Dr Harminder Singh Baweja. Secretary, Agriculture, BVRC Purshottam has been nominated as the inquiry officer.

Joshi has said that only after the inquiry report is received will any further action be taken and has further asserted that no irregularities will be tolerated in the Pushkar Singh Dhami Government. Necessary action will be taken after verifying the facts.

It may be recalled that some complaints have been received by the minister as well as the chief minister alleging financial and administrative irregularities by Dr Harminder Singh Baweja, Director, Horticulture.  Instructions were given by the Chief Minister to “get the facts checked and, after investigation, take appropriate action”. A lot of noise has been generated on social media in this regard despite the fact that Dr Baweja has issued legal notices to those who have made the allegations. Dr Baweja has claimed that all allegations against him are baseless and that his image is being deliberately tarnished. One of the charges levelled against Dr Baweja is that he has been facing some inquiry in his parent department, the YS Parmar University of Horticulture, Solan (HP). On this, Dr Baweja has claimed that he is not facing any inquiry or allegations in his parent department. However, due to such allegations being levelled on social media, the government has thought it prudent to order an inquiry and clear the air about the allegations, as the department’s image is also tarnished. The inquiry officer has been asked to complete the inquiry within 15 days.

It is pertinent to point out here that, with the recent exception of Dr Bir Singh Negi, the predecessor of Dr Baweja, who had a trouble and blemish free long tenure of 6 years as Director, Horticulture, no other director had a trouble free stint.

Dr BP Nautiyal had developed huge personal differences with the then Agriculture Minister, Trivendra Singh Rawat, while his predecessor, Dr Dhani Ram Gautam, a research scientist of high repute in his parent University, YS Parmar University of Horticulture, Solan (HP), also had faced charges as Director, Horticulture, in Uttarakhand. An inquiry was ordered against him but never completed. As a consequence, his pension was withheld by his parent university on his retirement and he died in Himachal Pradesh without being either convicted or cleared of the charge and without getting his pension.