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Chief Minister sends out a tough warning to officials

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Staff Correspondent

`Grievance letters I receive indicate that officials are not solving people's problems'

BIJAPUR: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Friday sent a blunt message to bureaucrats warning them that they would be punished if they failed to be sensitive to public grievances.

Addressing a gathering during a mass marriage function organised at Dhavalagi village in Muddebihal taluk by social worker A.S. Patil Nadahalli as part of the fifth centenary celebration of Sharana guru, Madivalaeshwara, Mr. Kumaraswamy said he was receiving grievance letters in thousands wherever he went, particularly during his village visits.

People were approaching him for problems such as non-disbursement of widow and old-age pensions and assistance for disabled persons as they were not getting their problems solved by officials. If this trend continued, Deputy Commissioners would be held responsible and action taken against them accordingly, he added.

In a week, he would issue a formal direction to all Deputy Commissioners in consultation with Home Minister M.P. Prakash and other Ministerial colleagues in this regard. Officials must visit villages once a week, he added. On the suspension of an IAS officer and Deputy Director of Public Instructions, both working in Kolar district, he said he was forced to take the harsh decision as one his directions (deputing a teacher-couple in Dharward on compassionate grounds) was not implemented even after one year.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said: "It is an auspicious ceremony of mass marriage. Yet I want to send a message to officials through this forum that no one will be spared if he or she continues to be insensitive to people's problem"

Referring to the recommendations of the fifth wage commission he said it would burden the exchequer to the tune of Rs. 1,400 crore. Employees, who fought for salary hike, should introspect as to whether they were really serving the people, he said.

New system

The Chief Minister announced that a new system of documenting details on people's problems both of individual and public nature would be launched at the taluk-level soon.

He reiterated the Government's commitment to waive farm loans. In the first phase, loans taken from cooperative financial institutions would be waived.

He said the Government planned to construct six lakh houses for families below the poverty line. Gram panchayats and the staff concerned should expedite the process, he said.

Referring to the demand made by Mr. Nadahalli about the long-pending Chimmalagi Lift Irrigation project, Mr. Kumaraswamy said work would commence soon provided it was included in the Scheme "A" of Bachawat Tribunal Award. Also, work would start next month on the tank-filling project, he added.

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