Punjab government will soon install biometric attendance devices in public offices across the state in order to ensure punctuality and accountability of employees.
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, at his maiden Sangat Darshan programme at Punjab Bhawan here today, said the devices would be installed in the next two months to to ensure punctuality of employees in the wake of public complaints in this regard.
The devices will be installed in all public offices in Chandigarh as well as in districts and other field offices. Addressing a plaint about the absence of state officials in the Revenue Department, Badal directed the Chief Secretary to prepare a detailed proposal for the installation of biometric attendance in all Punjab offices.
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He assured the complainants that the government would complete this project on priority, and that the biometric devices would be linked to a centralized control room to keep record of timings of employees.
Badal said department heads would monitor the functioning of devices at headquarters while Deputy Commissioners would be responsible for the same at the district level.
A similar move by the Haryana government for its employees a few years ago was thwarted after the Education Department staff broke the biometric devices in a bid to undo the move aimed at ensuring their accountability.
The Bansi Lal-led government introduced the move for the first time in the state Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh in the late 1990s which was also thwarted by government employees.
The staff created chaos at the entry of the Civil Secretariat and broke the biometric devices, after which the government was forced to withdraw the unpopular move.
During the Sangat Darshan programme, the Chief Minister or Deputy Chief Minister hears public grievances and seeks to provide on-the-spot solutions.
On the issue of maintenance of village ‘dhanis’ and providing basic amenities there, the Deputy CM announced that the state was preparing a policy to facilitate the residents living in such settlements with uninterrupted power supply and other basic amenities.
Badal said the canals flowing besides villages would be cleaned regularly so that farmers could use water available for irrigation purpose. For this, he said, the state was contemplating a policy under which a committee would be formed in each district comprising Executive Engineers of Irrigation Department, local public and farmers.
The Deputy CM also sought a probe into a plaint on the Link Road in Abohar from Bahawal village to Kera Khera near Balluana and asked Secretary, PWD, P S Aujla to look into it and submit a report within a week. Badal also directed heads of all departments, Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Police Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police, senior Power and Revenue officials to patiently hear public grievances besides ensuring timely delivery of services and asked them to ensure
resolution of plaints within a week.
Badal resolved more than 377 complaints pertaining to Revenue, Police, Electricity, Irrigation, PWD, Panchayats and Local Bodies departments, on the spot out of total 417, while reports have been sought from concerned authorities in rest of cases.
He also asked the masses to come forward with their issues in Sangat Darshan Programmes so that close check could be maintained on efficiency and functioning of public offices.
Among those present at the Sangat Darshan besides Aujla were Principal Secretaries to Deputy CM, Ajay Mahajan and Manvesh Singh Sidhu and other senior officials of various departments.