Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today made statement in the Assembly over the ‘ministers versus officers’ issue raised by Opposition BJP and Congress.
While the Opposition MLAs and leaders have been alleging dominance of bureaucrats in the administration instead of ministers, Patnaik said, “CM Grievance Cell is always handled by CMO and Ministers are not required to attend the same in Bhubaneswar. Once petitions are received, they are sent to concerned departments. Where is the issue of ministers versus officers in this?”
“Two years of Covid disruption caused dislocation in grievance redressal and I thought of reaching out to the people, by taking the CM Grievance Cell to the doorsteps of the people to cover all blocks and urban local bodies of the state in the shortest period possible. CM Grievance Cell is handled by the CMO and as per my directions, officers from the CMO conduced decentralized grievances cell in all the districts of the state,” the Chief Minister said in the statement.
“This mammoth exercise was carried out in more than 190 locations over a period of six months. Every day, three to five venues were covered and in the process 57442 petitions were collected from the people, and as on date 43536 petitions have been resolved or disposed of. The entire exercise is transparent, and technology driven. All the petitions and the action taken reports and the stage of disposal are available in the janasunani portal,” said Patnaik.
“If all these 57000 petitioners (most are community petitions) had to come to Bhubaneswar to attend CM Grievance Cell, how much money they would have had to spend in travel and stay, how much wage loss they would have had? All this has been saved by the CM Grievance Cell travelling to the doorsteps of people,” he said.
“As regards chopper use, I would like to clarify that it would have taken one and half years to do the same exercise by Road vis a vis by chopper. Every day conducting three to five meetings in different locations is humanly impossible within a window of 10 am to 3 pm which is convenient to people. In the last three and half years we have spent about Rupees 40 crores on chopper. On an average Rupees 1 to 1.5 crore is spent on chopper every month. In the past six months when chopper was used intensively to reach out to the people, the average expenditure was the same around Rupees 1 to 1.5 crore per month. It’s completely false and misleading to say that excess expenditure has been made,” said Patnaik.
“Opposition members should not be unhappy because of political reasons. For my government, people come first, resolving people’s issues is a top priority and I will continue to do so in the best possible manner,” he concluded.