To know first hand the problems being faced by ordinary people, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been directly monitoring the public grievance cell of the government and has also strengthened it by appointing additional officials.
Sources said the Public Grievance Monitoring System (PGMS) has got seven additional officials of deputy secretary rank. This is besides an additional secretary-rank official who is looking after the cell. Five of the deputy secretaries are monitoring the grievance cell full time.
Under the Congress government, the cell, sources said, had only one official of the rank of deputy secretary. But when the AAP government came to power, it was felt by the chief minister’s office that the cell needs to be strengthened, the sources added.
It is understood that Kejriwal, through the grievance cell, wants to keep a tab on problems being faced by ordinary people. Sources said under the present government, the PGMS — now only a cell — might be converted into a full-fledged department. Among the officials posted in the PGMS are Kamal Dev Dogra, who was the additional director of education. He has been posted as additional secretary in the grievance cell.
Deputy secretaries Bhupendra Kumar and Tarun Sharma, both ad hoc DANICS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service) officers, have been appointed to the CMO. “Both officers have not been specifically briefed about the department they would look at for now. They do what the CM asks them to, irrespective of the department,” an official said.
Sources said like the bhagidari cell — that dealt with Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) — was touted as former CM Sheila Dikshit’s pet project. But many in the government believe it is Kejriwal’s pet project. “Janta darbars are one way to redress the grievances of people, but the government also needs a structured mechanism to effectively deal with public complaints. The CM is ensuring that the government department dealing with it is made powerful,” a source said.