Editorial: Break the shackles

Srinagar: As the state assembly is in session from almost one month a sort of inertia of sorts has overtaken the bureaucracy in Kashmir division as the ministers and legislators have hardly been able to devote any time to visit Kashmir and address the people’s grievances.

Kashmir is presently witnessing winter months. Though the nature has been kind enough as the Valley has witnessed least rains and snowfall but the fact that the durbar is presently in Jammu, Kashmir valley witnessed least visits by mainisters and legislators during the past more than a month.

The phenomenon is adversely affecting the functionality and output of the officials here as the instructions issued from the secretariat hardly reach to the ground level as the administration is not reaching the people of the State at their doorsteps.

The Chief Minister had made it clear to the bureaucrats that good governance demanded that they go on regular field visits to see for them the progress in various developmental projects underway and also to know the problems of the people by interacting with them. She herself has a regular schedule of visiting far flung areas and taking stock of things. As follow up action, Chief Secretary wrote to all Administrative Secretaries, departmental heads and the Divisional and Deputy Commissioners to go on field visits on every Thursday and submit the visit diaries to superiors.

But all these instructions have not been followed. The irony is that the Administrative Secretaries, who seldom move out of the Secretariat, take the reports of the heads of departments for granted knowing that even the heads of departments do not undertake field visits. This all is paper work and no field study.

The bureaucrats are under the impression that their job ends at putting notes on the files and that they are not concerned with the status of developmental projects, their impact on people, their shortcomings and the lessons that have to be drawn from past experience.

Importantly, the senior bureaucrats have to lay foundation for work culture in real sense of the term. They need to make contribution towards the development of the State and its people.

It is very much possible that many shortcomings that sometimes are too serious as to derail an important project could be arrested and rectified without causing unbearable damage to the state. The point in case is the power reforms which the state has failed miserably to implement.

If some senior officials of the government are to be believed then various other projects are being shelved due to the official lethargy that has failed to get things moving at the pace they should have been.

Therefore, the need of the hour is that the inexplicable inertia has to be done away with and officials at the helm need to take things seriously and not wait for directions from the ministers and legislators to get things going.



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