On Wednesday, the Shravasti district woke up to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav landing at its doorstep for a surprise inspection, an attempt directed at “reducing the gap between the government and the common people”.
As Akhilesh went about interacting with the villagers, suspension orders began to flow thick and fast. By the end of the CM’s “surprise visit”, six state officials had been slapped with suspension notices, while the seventh, District Magistrate Bhanu Goswami, was removed. Superintendent of Police Salikram Verma was let off with a warning. All suspension orders were given on the spot.
The day started with Akhilesh, accompanied by Principal Secretary Rakesh Garg, holding a chaupal at Bhartapur village where he enquired about electricity supply, laptop distribution programme and other welfare-related schemes.
When the villagers told about the “hardly one hour” of electricity supply in the village, the CM asked for the rostering schedule, which had listed electricity supply to the village from 11:45 am to 6:45 pm. It was 11:55 am and there was no electricity in the village. Suspension of Executive Engineer, Power, was ordered.
The CM then inspected the roads as well as the drainage system in the village and found that while the roads were sub-standard, there was no outlet to the drainage system leading to water-logging. Order for suspension of Executive Engineer, Rural Engineering Services, in whose time the road was constructed, was issued.
Lined next were complaints that public distribution system was not working properly, fertilizers were scant and illegal mining was rampant. Akhilesh verified the beneficiaries who were supplied seeds by the government and found that one beneficiary mentioned was a labourer and not a farmer. These led to the suspension of deputy director, agriculture; district supply officer; and district mining officer.
The CM had, meanwhile, asked IAS officer Amit Gupta to visit the nearby community health centre. Gupta reported that essential medicines for children were not available for the past six months. This laxity resulted in the suspension of the Chief Medical Officer.
DM Goswami was removed for “negligence in carrying out supervision”. A statement issued from the state government later in the day confirmed the suspension of the six officials and removal of the DM.