“My spectacles have broken. Can you please get one shop opened as I can’t see”, “Please send some green chillis at home”, are just some of the queries that Chandigarh Adviser Manoj Parida deals with on his Twitter account these days.
From getting to sleep for only four to five hours daily to dealing with queries of city residents and simultaneously sending reports, UT Adviser Manoj Parida has been on his toes in this time of crisis, as he tries to reply to even the pettiest query.
By late morning Parida is already done making over a dozen calls to his officers and updating himself about the state of COVID-19 patients of the city. “The first calls are made at around 6.30 am, to the Municipal Commissioner, Finance Secretary, Health Secretary and two doctors to get feedback about the situation. Then if there are issues with the supply or things that are to be taken up with other states, I quickly call up the officers so that things can be done well in time,” said Parida.
Throughout the day, the Adviser makes sure he is replying to every single person who tweets to him about any issue. Other than that, he also constantly remains in touch with his officers, with the Ministry and with the Chief Secretaries of the other states through WhatsApp groups.
“I feel that because decisions are to be taken at my level, it I better that I get feedback directly from the public so that I know about the actual problems on ground. That is why I became active on Twitter. To address grievances of every resident and to lift up the morale of my city’s residents,” he said.
From 11.30 am to 2.30 pm, Parida goes over reports being sent to the ministry for the daily update of the UT’s situation. From 4.30 pm to 6pm, he participates in the daily review meeting with the UT Administrator. All along, Parida remains in touch with the residents through Twitter. Once he is done with the meeting, he gets in touch with the contact tracing Nodal officer Anil Garg to know about the status of the quarantined people. Over 1,500 people in Chandigarh are home quarantined at the moment. They are those who came in contact with the positive patient directly or indirectly.
Interestingly, this newbie on the platform is now the first person every Chandigarh resident looks up on Twitter to check for latest city updates.
“I know I won’t get any bouquets on Twitter and that people will mostly speak about problems that too in harsh words. I listen to them patiently and try my best to address their problem. I know I just got a query if I can get one spectacle shop opened as a person’s spectacles broke. I suggested to the gentleman to always have a spare or stand by. At least the coronavirus will teach us this,” he said.
It is not just the residents’ backlash or implementation issues that the officer deals with. There are also coordination issues with doctors, employee problems that have to be dealt with. Disappearance from Twitter For some hours, Parida disappeared from his Twitter account leaving residents confused. He later returned from a different account saying that he was “back on public demand.”
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