City all praise for LG's activism

New governance

In the absence of an elected Delhi Government, probably for the first time in the history of the city, the Lieutenant Governor has picked up the reins of administration from where the Aam Aadmi Party leadership dropped them.

After making it compulsory for senior officials of several Government departments to hold meetings with the public, LG Najeeb Jung recently ordered a massive drive to check discrepancies in public dealing departments.

In a most secretly and efficiently conducted operation, Delhi Police and anti-corruption officials swooped down on ration shops, petrol pumps, wholesale drug markets, transport department offices and even private schools. They spotted irregularities and nabbed a sizeable number of racketeers and touts.

Public representatives and activists in the area of governance are no doubt pleased with this spirited move by the office of LG. Public leaders are enthused that LG Najeeb Jung is fulfilling obligations of the Government while occupying a post which is largely seen as “decorative and ceremonial.”
 “It is most praiseworthy that the LG has noticed rampant malpractices in private schools and actively dealing with it,” says Ashok Agarwal, a Right to Education activist and head of Social Jurist - a lawyers’ collective, “It is very well-known that these schools fill up the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) seats dubiously and tamper with records. Also, the salary of teachers is often different ‘on the rolls’ and in final payment. Finally, someone has taken steps against it.”

Ashok Agarwal adds that the LG was also actively engaged in resolving the nursery admissions imbroglio, even though it is yet to see a final solution.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal, a prominent Right to Information activist says, “The LG has taken a step in the right direction and in fact, set an example for future incumbents to his post. The LG’s office is not ceremonial, nor should he be politically affiliated or influenced into keeping silent against corruption. The LG is proving that.”

“However, there is something more that he can certainly do,” the activist points out, “Every public dealing department should have a grievance cell with provisions for registration of complaints online. Right now, people have to lodge their complaints on pgportal.gov.in which is a central Government provision. The letters are then transferred to various State departments which is time-consuming and inefficient.”

Atul Goyal of URJA – an umbrella body of all RWAs in the city - suggests, “A one-time raid, however expansive, cannot solve the problem. Rather, the LG and future Delhi Governments should regularly hold such drives. Look at the shoddy work that our sanitation departments are doing. Roads are always lined with garbage and in monsoons, Delhi almost drowns. Crackdowns must be conducted on such departments without informing the heads.”

“That is the right way of going about administration.”  

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