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Bureaucrats prefer meetings over addressing public grievances
Is PM Modi's promise of public grievance redressal faltering?
2/27/2020 1:03:08 AM
SAAHIL SUHAIL

EARLY TIMES REPORT

ANANTNAG, Feb 26: Taking undue advantage of absence of political leaders, the bureaucrats posted in Kashmir region of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir have systematically started ignoring and not addressing public grievances.
The attitude adopted by the bureaucrats is contrary to what Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised after Article 370 was abrogated last year in the month of August. On Thursday, a group of people, including men and women, was spotted queued outside the office of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag. People mostly aged men were spotted sitting on the floor of the corridor was the deputy commissioner remained busy with meetings.
“Frequent meetings and Video Conferences have started creating issues. People come from far flung areas of the district to meet Deputy Commissioner but they have to wait for hours or sometime they have to leave without meeting the deputy commissioner,” a group of people told ET.
“It appears that addressing the issues of common public is no more a priority for the current administration,” they added.
They alleged that bureaucrats are displaying arrogance and top officers aren’t accessible for common public. Important to mention, Anantnag is blessed with three additional deputy commissioners, however still the public grievances aren’t addressed swiftly.
“We don’t know what they are doing in these meetings. Addressing public grievances should be utmost priority of the government but sadly it isn’t,” Manzoor Ahmad, a Kokernag said.
After the abrogation of Article 370, a high level delegation led by V Srinivas, additional secretary, DARPG and V Shashank Shekhar, joint secretary in the department and other officials from the department of administrative reforms and public grievances (DARPG), department of pensions & pensioners welfare, national centre for good governance and national informatics centre visited Jammu and Kashmir.
The central team held meetings with the chief secretary of Jammu & Kashmir and senior officials including the secretaries of personnel, training, information and technology, planning, health and education departments during which the central delegation decided to digitize official files, implementation of e-office in the secretariat and to improve collaboration between J&K Institute of Public Administration and National Centre for Good Governance among other things.
According to media reports, the delegation also decided to integrate Jammu & Kashmir’s public grievance system with the Central Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) to solve the problems of local people in a better way; however off late the promise of public grievance redressal appears to have faltered.
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