Siddu asks officials tough questions at review meet

He wants people's grievances solved at district, taluk level

Siddu asks officials tough questions at review meet

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday held a daylong review meeting with officials on the functioning of the government. He posed some tough questions to the top bureaucracy on their failure to provide efficient service to people and said they will be betraying people if they fail to perform.

“Why freshly asphalted roads do not withstand even a moderate rainfall?... Why have number of properties remained out of the tax net? Why is there always a delay in change property khatas? Why mistakes suddenly crop up while updating pahani?” he asked Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee, additional chief secretaries, department heads, deputy commissioners and chief executive officers of Zilla Panchayats, in his opening remarks at the meeting. Almost all ministers attended.

Siddaramaiah, who has of late come under criticism from his party leaders for lack of efficiency in administration, also presented many instances of administrative lapses in various departments and asked the officials to change their style of functioning. He gave a number of suggestions to bring in administrative changes. Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa had recently hit out at the government for failing to live up to the people’s expectations.

Failure to collect property tax from hundreds of vacant site owners for the last two to three decades in Bangalore, doctors asking poor patients to get medicines from private pharmacies despite their availability with them, delay in construction of anganwadi buildings even five years after sanctioning them. These were some of the lapses highlighted by the chief minister.

“A majority of the people’s grievances can be addressed at district and taluk levels. But people are being forced to meet the chief minister at Janata Darshana in Bangalore to get their problems solved. Shouldn’t we construe it as failure of the deputy commissioners? Isn’t it a failure of the officials working in the districts?,” he asked.

Siddaramaiah said that 70 to 80 per cent of people’s problems can be solved at the district level, if the officials work efficiently and deliver services in a time-bound manner.
Siddaramaiah said the government cannot take up development works without proper resource mobilisation and a genuine beneficiary will be deprived of welfare schemes if a proper ‘pahani’ is not issued.

The government will soon take steps to empower tahsildars to rectify errors in RTCs. Currently, only assistant commissioners can make RTC corrections.

Earlier, Kaushik Mukherjee warned that the government will not tolerate indifference and inefficiency and said that those reluctant to perform have no place in the government.
Turning his attention towards the Health department, Siddaramaiah questioned principal secretary N Sivasailam over how many hospitals he had visited during his term. He questioned the senior IAS officer over whether he had visited the Kidwai hospital and taken note of the poor treatment being given to the large number of patients there.

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