Thana Nirbahi Officer

Thana Nirbahi Officer The military government of hussein mohammad ershad constituted a committee for administrative reform/ reorganization in 1982. One of the major recommendations of the Committee was to have a representative Thana Parishad with a directly elected chairman. Consequent upon the decision of the government to implement this recommendation, the post of Thana Nirbahi Officer (TNO) was created in each of what was called Upgraded Thana outside the metropolitan police jurisdictions and municipal areas. Subdivision as an unit of administration was abolished, and all subdivisions except those in the sadar (headquarters) were converted into districts. Responsibility for all development activities at the local level were transferred to the Thana Parishad except major development activities of national and regional coverage. It was also decided that till such time as chairman of Thana Parishad was elected, the TNO will act as the chairman of the Parishad. Local Government law was accordingly amended.

TNO was drawn from the senior scale officers of the Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) cadre. The charter of duties of TNO included the following:

1. He will be the staff officer to the elected chairman of Thana Parishad. He will also be the chief executive officer of the Parishad; shall be responsible to the chairman of Thana Parishad and assist him in implementation of policies and decisions of the Parishad;

2. Assist the chairman in supervising all thana level development and administrative work;

3. Assist the Parishad in preparing a coordinated development plan of the thana and ensure its execution;

4. Exercise powers under section 144 Cr. PC. When the thana magistrate is unable to attend the court on any ground, he will sit in court and perform the following functions: taking cognizance of cases, hearing bail matters, granting adjournment, etc.

5. Initiate annual confidential report of all thana level officers except munsiff. The chairman of Thana Parishad will be the countersigning officer. District officers of respective departments will be the technical reporting officers of the thana officers.

6. Attend emergency duties, such as relief duties following natural calamities, receive stores including food, and distribute relief materials as directed by Thana Parishad;

7. Protocol duties;

8. Supervise and control revenue and budget administration of the thana;

9. Ensure that the government directives on thana administration are followed;

10. He will be responsible for all training matters of his department within the thana and will co-ordinate all thana level training activities;

11. He will grant casual leave and will countersign the TA bills of all functionary heads except munsiff;

12. He will act as drawing and disbursing officer in respect of officers and staff working directly under him;

13. He will supervise the activities of the officers and staff working under him;

14. Perform such other functions as may be entrusted to him by the government or the Thana Parishad chairman or as may be conferred on him by the government under any law.

At a later stage, the name Upazila was adopted to the upgraded thanas as it appeared to satisfy the linkage to the oldest administrative unit, that is, the district. Initially, the chief executive officer was named Thana Commissioner. This was also done probably to maintain the continuity in the traditional administrative names. This, however, was open to criticism on the grounds that (a) it was contrary to what the Administrative Reform Committee had recommended and (b) it smacked of colonial tradition. The name ultimately adopted was Upazila Nirbahi Officer.

Consequent upon the abolition of the Upazila concept in early 1990s, the designation reverted back to Thana Nirbahi Officer. With the introduction of Upazila system in 2009 the designation Upazila Nirbahi Officer was revived. [AMM Shawkat Ali]