Candid Notes

FRIDAY, 13 May | Gajendra Singh Negi | DEHRADUN

Bridling Babudom

In his second stint as the chief minister, young Pushkar Singh Dhami is exhibiting a steely resolve to rein in the unbridled babudom of the Himalayan state. Dhami has adopted a no nonsense approach in dealing with the Babus and in a recent meeting the tough taking CM delved in detail on good governance and curtly told the officers that the governance should get reflected at the lowest level of the administration. He directed doorstep delivery of services and said that clear decisions should be taken in the meetings and their implementation time should also be fixed.  The CM hit the nail on the head when he directed the Babus to fix weekly no meeting days when they should meet the visitors in their offices. It is learnt that CM has taken this decision on the inputs that many officers take the excuse of official meetings for not meeting visitors. It would be interesting to note how the behemoth of Babudom reacts to the CM in a new avatar.

Catch-22 Situation

The unprecedented surge of the pilgrims after a pandemic enforced break of two years being witnessed at the conception of the Char Dham Yatra this year has put the Uttarakhand government in a classical Catch 22 situation. The surging crowd of the pilgrims in the shrines located in the lofty heights of pristine Garhwal hills has not only exposed the arrangements of the administration but has also put the government in a fix on adopting ways to limit the number of the pilgrims. After the deaths of 23 pilgrims within days of the start of the Yatra the haggard tourism and health departments are now issuing advisories to the pilgrims on the precaution they should take and are asking those with pre existing diseases to refrain from coming to the Yatra. The authorities want to put a limit on the number of the pilgrims and for it they are talking about compulsory registration of the visitors but they are not strictly enforcing them for the fear of inviting wrath of the pilgrims and the traffic chaos any regulatory mechanism would perpetuate. It is unfortunate that the planners have failed to set up a smooth mechanism and infrastructure for the Char Dham Yatra even after 22 years of creation of Uttarakhand.

 Ministers on the move

With the chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami concentrating more on the crucial assembly by-poll of Champawat, the members of his cabinet are taking time out from their hectic and arduous schedule for long visits outside the state. As usual the sceptics are questioning these jaunts of the ministers for their sheer timings.  The forest minister set up the tempo of these ill timed tours when he preferred to beat the heat generated by the raging forest fires in different parts of the state by enjoying the cool sea breeze of Mumbai.  The minister entrusted with the health portfolio then decided to spend some days in Modi’s own Gujarat ostensibly to find ways to give a big boost to the cooperative movement in the Himalayan state at a time when the Char Dham Yatra had commenced in the state. Not to be left behind, the globetrotting tourism minister decided to woo the wealthy Sheikhs of Dubai precisely at the time when his department was struggling to deal with the onslaught of sheer numbers of the pilgrims in the Char Dham Yatra.

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