Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju pulled off a surprise by making a call to Collector Solomon Arokia Raj during the Dial Your Collector programme on Monday.

He wanted the Collector to instruct the officers to attend the ongoing Rachabanda programme since the officers were not showing interest in the programme in the Visakha Agency area.

The Dial Your Collector programme is meant for common people to bring to notice of Collector directly their problems but Minister making a call during the programme was a surprise. When contacted, Mr. Balaraju said that he was trying to contact the Collector while participating in Rachabanda at Revallu in Koyyuru mandal and his staff were told that the Collector was in the Dial Your Collector programme. “Then I dialled that number and spoke to the Collector”.

In a press release the Information Department later informed that Mr. Arokia Raj immediately sent CEO of Zilla Praja Parishad G.V. Reddy to go to Koyyuru mandal and participate in the Rachabanda programme.

Mr. Balaraju felt that absence of officials at Rachabanda, a programme taken up by the State Government in a prestigious way, could be understood if they were attending emergencies like cyclone. Still the officials who were not connected with such duty should attend Rachabanda where the people could directly interact with them and solve their problems. “Just myself, PO (of ITDA) and RDO attending Rachabanda won’t do”, he said.

He expressed his displeasure by saying that district officials were not meant for only some areas of the district. Their presence was so sparse that people started wondering if some departments were in existence or not.

Mr. Balaraju was unhappy over the officials not recording damage caused by rain and restoration of damaged roads and structures. Agency being a hilly terrain, damage due to rain was more and frequent but they were not recorded by the R and B or repairs not taken up on damaged areas, he alleged. The Paderu ghat road, which is vital link to the Agency area suffered major damage at four places but not even temporary restoration work was not taken up. Soudyam bridge’s diversion way was washed away but it was not included in the works to be taken up.

Buses stopped plying on the road and some other roads which were damaged, he said.

Posts of Additional DMHO, Deputy DEO and some Special Officers and many MPDos were lying still vacant, he pointed out.

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