DM in Bihar practises, preaches frugality to save oil

Concerned over economic slowdown, the weakening rupee and the hike in the oil import bill, an Indian Administrative Service officer in Bihar has tried to lead by example in resorting to austerity.

Arvind Kumar Singh, District Magistrate (DM) of the Maoist-infested Kaimur district in Western Bihar, has decided to go to the office on foot, instead of his official vehicle, and has also asked his subordinates to do so in the first week of every month. The DM has also asked that the cavalcade, which follows his vehicle, to be stopped from plying on the roads for at least a week.

This, he feels, will not only help save fuel and curtail government expenditure, but also create mass awareness about the need to reduce oil consumption, the import of which, he says, is a huge burden to the government exchequer. To ensure that his plan fructifies at the ground level, Singh went to the Kaimur Collectorate on foot on Tuesday, with his bodyguards and other officials in tow. The exercise will continue for the next few days. He has asked the deputy collectors and other administrative officers under his jurisdiction to use trains and buses if there is a meeting outside the district headquarters.

“Avoid official vehicles and use other modes of transport like bus and train if the meeting is away from the headquarters,” Singh is believed to have told his officials. The Kaimur DM has, however, added that government vehicles should be used to maintain law and order duty in and around the district. “Use official vehicles only when it is extremely necessary, or if it is required to maintain law and order,” said the directive.

There are approximately 10,000 government officials in different departments across the district, and it believed that even if only 30 per cent people heed to his advice, the purpose will be achieved.  

Arvind Kumar Singh has also issued further instructions that generator sets should not be used for at least two hours from 1 pm to 3 pm everyday.

He has also appealed the people of his district not to resort to agitations or road blockades which unnecessarily creates traffic problems.

“In this era of economic slowdown, my purpose is to make people aware about how to save oil and curtail avoidable expenses. I am only trying to lead by example,” the Kaimur district magistrate told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

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