“Implement best practices in people centric governance with active public participation in the developmental process for achieving the goal of good governance through accountable, responsive and proactive administration which is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of any region.”
K Koushal & Sanchita Raina
Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (JKUT) Manoj Sinha has apparently admonished the bureaucracy for delaying various welfare projects and even went on to ask them, “make positive changes on the ground rather than limiting them to papers only.”
Sinha, who is usually credited for ensuring the completion of projects within set timelines, sprung into action against, what many called, ‘a powerful bureaucracy’ and warned them to shun their go-slow policy.
According to the sources in the Raj-Bhawan, LG is known as a hard taskmaster. “He gets work delivered within the stipulated time, and has a very congenial style of working. He is always accessible to both officers and the public. He is a quick decision maker.”
Sources added that Lieutenant Governor has time and again rapped bureaucrats for ‘unnecessary’ delays in completion of developmental works in Jammu and Kashmir.
“During couple of high level review meetings, the LG has told the bureaucrats to ensure that the projects do not remain languishing unnecessarily,” said sources, adding that Manoj Sinha has also clarified the bureaucrats that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have set the bar of expectations from the government very high, so it is important to complete all projects within the stipulated time frame.
If sources are to be believed, the LG has also cornered bureaucracy over lack of coordination among different departments. “Lieutenant Governor has rebuked the bureaucracy for not maintaining proper coordination and has also stressed for an inter-departmental coordination to achieve results on the ground,” said sources, adding that he has categorically directed the officers to work in a close synergy to remove any bottlenecks coming in the way of progress.
Sources further maintained that the LG has realized that in all these years, the bureaucrats in Jammu and Kashmir have been working for self interest or for politicians with very little attention to grievances and welfare of general public.
“He advised the Administrative Secretaries to implement the best practices in people centric governance with active public participation in developmental process for achieving the goal of good governance through accountable, responsive and proactive administration which is a prerequisite for the sustainable development of any region,” informed sources from Raj Bhawan, adding that Sinha has also directed the officers to make judicious use of available resources for the welfare of people.
Talking to The Typewriter, a senior official at Civil Secretariat, wishing anonymity said that the Lieutenant Governor is applying his model of governance in Jammu and Kashmir, which is based on Zero Tolerance for corruption, promotion of youth centric programs and policies, reaching out to the masses, strengthening of connectivity in rural areas, robust health care system, modernization of capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, early completion of languishing projects, redressal of public grievances and improving public service delivery system.
“LG has directed the officers to take comprehensive measures to improve public service delivery and adopt proactive approach for ensuring more responsive public grievance redressal,” said official, adding that he has also directed the officers to roll out a comprehensive mechanism to take the benefit of Jan Abhiyan programme for mass contact.
Official said that to do with the administrative hiccups in the implementation of various schemes, LG has categorically set deadlines for everything, including issuance of Domicile Certificate, registration for Aadhaar Seeding of Ration Cards and payment under MGNREGA.
“Lt Governor has directed the executing agencies to expedite important projects so as to meet the fixed timelines and all the projects must be completed within the stipulated time frame” official said, adding that to bring accountability in the public redressal system, LG has tasked Deputy Commissioners and SSPs to hold public durbars for one hour daily for 5 days a week.
Unlike his predecessors, who had been instrumental in governance from Raj-Bhawan, Manoj Sinha can be seen visiting people on ground to know their problems.
“He has been working tirelessly on every front. He is personally reaching out to the public to know their problems. He is meeting various stakeholders and is also open to suggestions,” said official, adding that initially he was disappointed with the ‘autocratic’ work culture of bureaucrats, but now he has pulled everyone to show that they (bureaucrats) are also part of the system, working for the public and has advised them to give due attention to the genuine needs of people in the current scenario.
Lt. Governor has also taken Chief Secretary to task for “unaccountability” of officials working at the Civil Secretariat.
“During a surprise visit to civil secretariat few weeks back, it was found that many officers were absent, which infuriated Lieutenant Governor, who issued warning to Chief Secretary for unprofessional behavior,” said an official, wishing anonymity, adding that LG had taken serious note of the absence of officers and officials.
Pertinent to mention that Manoj Sinha is a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, a day after G.C. Murmu in a surprise development resigned from the post exactly a year after the nullification of Article 370 in the erstwhile State, and barely nine months after he took over the reins of the newly created Union Territory.