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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Sunday that while the higher echelons of the bureaucracy have slowly started falling in line with the new government, half the lower-level bureaucrats are still stuck in the past mode.
Addressing mediapersons here on the occasion of his government completing one year in office, Fadnavis said in reply to a question, “In the beginning, the bureaucracy was slow in changing its attitude, but slowly those in higher positions have now started being responsive and the resistance has gone down. But half the lower-level bureaucrats are still stuck in the past. We are taking steps to make them fall in line too. We have suspended over 800 staffers, dismissed over 50 and registered FIRs against over 450 personnel to give a strong message.”
Citing an example, Fadnavis said, “The mindset was to do things in a wrong manner. For instance, testing of tar used in road construction was made with fudged reports resulting in bad quality roads. We cracked down on them.”
The CM said that his government started off by filling up vacancies with the condition that for the first posting and promotion, incumbents will have to first serve in Vidarbha followed by Marathwada and north Maharashtra and later the rest of the region. “I used to get letters and phone calls from MLAs and MPs for posting particular people at particular places. But I declined to do that.”
Fadnavis claimed that his government has done everything possible to uplift the condition of the rural masses, particularly farmers. “One of my government’s most ambitious project has been Jalyukt Shivar scheme that has benefitted farmers in over 6,200 villages with additional protected irrigation of 6.5 lakh hectares,” he said, adding that his government has distributed 1.5 times more credit to farmers than the previous year.
To a question about a girl in Marathwada committing suicide due to paucity of funds for bus pass, Fadnavis said, “It was a very unfortunate incident, but if you read the complete letter, you will know that she had also written about her father’s indebtedness due to purchase of vehicles like tempo and tractor. Though it is true that more farmers have committed suicide this year, we must see it in the context of continuous drought over the past three years.”