Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nitish Tough on BABU


PATNA: Tough times are ahead for bureaucrats in Bihar. CM Nitish Kumar is back on the job with huge task in hand with a deadline to meet targets and
and challenges. "No execuses would be tolerated at any cost. All complaints should be addressed in a proper manner without violating any human rights norms," was the CM's clear message to officials. Now development has become the buzz word among babus. Keeping in the mind of state assembly election next year, the CM is serious about meeting deadlines of key projects in sectors like education, road, health, flood control and rural development, said an official. "Gone are those days when officials were hardly taken to task. Now each one of them will have to updated before meeting the CM," admits an official. Any financial leakage and slackness in the various on-going projects would not be tolerated, the officials added. Till few years ago, the secretariat was largely dysfunctional because of the long delays in financial approvals. Now, the situation has changed and the NDA led government which completed over three years in the office has started showing positive results. For, the officials are now "forced" to perform. Known as a hard taskmaster, Nitish has set deadline for the bureaucrats. With less number of ministers from Bihar expected in the new UPA government at the Centre, Nitish would have to single-handedly deal with all centrally-sponsored projects. District level field officials, who have been at the receiving end of random phone calls from the CM office in recent days with enquires regarding progress on various projectrs in their respective districts, have already pressed the panic button. This has given babus the jitters. The corridors of the main secretariat have started buzzing with activities again. The practise of calling DMs from the CM office asking for for favours has virtually been stopped. All this despite the fact the state government has been facing an acute crisis of IAS officers to run various key departments smoothly. Out of the total strength of 326 IAS cadre, 44 officials are already on the central deputation. There are 105 vacant posts of IAS in the state, said an official.

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