KARNATAKA

Kumaraswamy gives a piece of his mind to bureaucrats

HIGH-LEVEL MEET: Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar (third from left) having a word with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at the meeting of deputy commissioners and CEOs of zilla panchayats in Bangalore on Monday. Chief Secretary Prahlad B. Mahishi (le ft) and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board A. Ravindra are with them. Photo: K. Gopinathan

HIGH-LEVEL MEET: Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar (third from left) having a word with Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at the meeting of deputy commissioners and CEOs of zilla panchayats in Bangalore on Monday. Chief Secretary Prahlad B. Mahishi (le ft) and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board A. Ravindra are with them. Photo: K. Gopinathan  

Special Correspondent

`There was no need for me to stay in villages if you had attended to grievances'

BANGALORE: Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the slack response of bureaucrats towards solving people's problems and asked them to desist from thinking that they were landlords and people their tenants.

"Do not consider power as a royal grant. It is only a golden opportunity for you to serve the people," Mr. Kumaraswamy remarked while addressing a conference of deputy commissioners of districts, chief executive officers of zilla panchayats and principal secretaries to various departments, in Bangalore. The conference was held for the first time after the completion of one-year in office by the Chief Minister.

Stressing the need for providing a humane touch to the grievance redressal mechanism, he asked bureaucrats to respond in a "humane" way to the problems of people, especially those of poor, widows, physically challenged and the oppressed sections.

"The bureaucrats cannot help the socially deprived people unless they developed compassion towards them. The bureaucrat should have a mother's heart while trying to solve the problems of poor people. Society will continue to face a deluge of problems until the bureaucrats changed their attitude," he observed.

Without mincing words, the Chief Minister told bureaucrats that there was no need for him to take up village stay programmes if they had properly executed their responsibility of redressing the grievances of people and providing facilities to them. Let alone solving the problems, the bureaucrats had not even brought these issues to his notice, he said.

"After taking up 18 village stays and 32 Janata Darshan programmes, I have a clear idea of the nature of problems facing people like housing, drinking water supply and maintenance of cleanliness in the locality. " Though the Government had taken up schemes in the housing sector to help the poor, the bureaucrats had failed to respond to the initiative, he said. He also directed them to work towards distributing ration cards to all eligible families.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to effectively respond to the media reports on people's problems and social issues.

He directed the officials to ensure that drinking water supply and availability of fodder was not affected in summer, especially in the 130 drought-affected taluks. The officials should take steps to supply drinking water in tankers to areas facing scarcity. "While the Government will ensure that there is no shortage of funds for such works, it is your responsibility to effectively implement the works," he said. The life in villages had become unbearable due to the summer heat. He urged the officials to take the situation as a challenge.

Mr. Kumaraswamy also asked officials to put an end to the practice of spending the funds allocated to budgetary schemes only at the fag end of the financial year. He directed them to gear up for the efficient implementation of the budget from this month itself.

Mr. Kumaraswamy pointed out that there was a possibility of people turning to other bad habits following the banning of arrack as well as operation of lotteries. He asked the officials to take measures to prevent such a trend.

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