KATHMANDU, Sept 26 : Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Sanjeev Gautam submitted a fresh clarification to Minister for Culture Tourism and Civil Aviation, Jitendra Narayan Dev on Monday, responding to the minister’s 24-hour clarification notice.
Stating that the previous clarifications furnished by Gautam were unsatisfactory, the minister had sought fresh clarifications with a 24-hour ultimatum on October 21. Gautam received the notice on Sunday.
Gautam submitted a four-page clarification on Monday to the minister. “Minister Dev had sought appropriate answers as [Gautam’s] performance was very low”, said sources.
“The minister’s claim about the director general’s performance is baseless. He has resorted to seeking repeated clarifications as there is no other option to remove him,” said a highly-placed source at the tourism ministry.
“Similar agreements have been reached with various other top officials but the minister has pointed out the flaws of only Gautam.”
Attaching relevant documents, Gautam had earlier submitted a 1,700-page-long clarification to the minister in response to the 11-point questions asked to him.
Dev started a process to remove Gautam, questioning him for, among other things, scrapping the contract with Spanish firm Constructora Sanjose SA.
Dev’s move is likely to benefit the Spanish firm which was blacklisted by the government after the CAAN terminated its contract for the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) Improvement Project. The contract termination has resulted in a legal battle over compensation claims and counter claims.
Meanwhile, Gautam has taken leave for Tuesday and he designated Deputy Director General Rajan Pokharel as officiating DG for the day.