As people line up to submit their complaints to Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung’s listening post, the staff at his secretariat admit that the frequency of people seeking redressal through the Lt-Governor’s office has gone up since the imposition of President’s rule around two months back.
To fill the vacuum in the absence of a government, Jung himself has taken up field visits — with health and education being given special emphasis — to ensure smooth functioning of the government mechanism. He is expected to visit observation homes soon. Not only the Lt-Governor, senior officials of Raj Niwas have also been making field visits to ensure smooth functioning of the government apparatus.
“The visit to observation home comes after an incident on February 24, when more than 40 juvenile offenders had escaped from an observation home in Mukherjee Nagar area in north-west Delhi after creating ruckus in the facility. The L-G had then directed officials to submit a comprehensive plan on improving the management of observation homes being run in the city,” an official said.
A meeting in this regard is also likely to take place on Tuesday. Frequent meetings take place daily to monitor work or to take stock of a situation with an aim is to ensure that essential services are not affected in any way.
“In the last few days, the Lt-Governor has visited Maulana Azad Medical College and its associated hospitals and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital as part of the review process to turn these hospitals into model hospitals. Besides this, he held a meeting at the Delhi Secretariat to take an update on what had been achieved by each government department through field visits made by them. Not all departments were covered then and another such meeting will be held soon,” an official said.
The chief secretary is known to visit the Lt-Governor’s office at least twice or thrice a day to ensure better coordination between the Delhi Secretariat and the Lt-Governor’s office. The Lt-Governor’s website is also being updated to ensure it is more people friendly.
“Ever since the Lt-Governor took over administration of the Delhi government, it has ensured a unified command as opposed to having several talking heads. The lack of political interference has also helped in making decision making faster,” said an official.
Earlier, while Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Police and Municipal Corporations came under the Lt-Governor, the rest of the government departments came under the direct command of the chief minister.
“Several raids have also taken place in the last two weeks and are likely to continue. While raids were conducted previously also, it was usually conducted by departmental officials as opposed to these raids which included SDMs, officials from the anti-corruption branch etc.
These raids have been initiated to weed out corrupt practices besides ensuring smooth operation of departments like transport, health, education, food and supplies etc,” a source said.
But while this period has fast-racked decision-making, it has led to slowdown of infrastructure works mainly due to the model code of conduct, but also because the Lt-Governor is mainly supposed to oversee day-to-day operations of the government under President’s rule and not take up any new development projects.