An NCP legislator has said it is the job of bureaucrats to meet people regularly and address their grievances, and blamed the Mantralaya administration for a spate of suicide bids in its premises in the recent past.
Ministers cannot be expected to meet people everyday, Kiran Pawaskar said, adding that fixing a safety net in the state secretariat building will not dissuade people from taking the extreme step if their complaints are not addressed.
The state Legislative Council member also alleged that the Maharashtra government, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has failed to come up with a comprehensive welfare policy, leading people to commit suicide.
“Ministers cannot be expected to meet visitors everyday. It is the responsibility of officers, for which they are paid,” Pawaskar said.
The opposition legislator claimed the government spends 61 per cent of its revenue in paying salaries of its employees, including the IAS and IPS officers.
“It is the job of secretaries and under secretaries to meet people on a day-to-day basis and resolve their grievances,” he said.
If the secretaries fail to do their duty, the chief secretary should be held accountable and suspended, he added.
“Today, the government officers do not take the pain of submitting grievances of people to the minister concerned and giving a feedback to people,” the MLC said.
Pawaskar also found fault with the BJP-led governments policies which, he said, lack focus to identify and address the people’s problems.
He said the government should come up with a policy to ensure the peoples grievances are addressed in a time-bound manner.
“The Home department, held by the chief minister, should have ideally come up with a policy for the welfare of people,” he said.
The PWD department earlier this week installed a safety across the first floor of the seven-storey state secretariat building to prevent suicides, after two persons tried to jump off its corridors recently.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan later ridiculed the government’s move saying the situation today was such that safety nets would have to be set up not just at the Mantralaya, but everywhere.
The Shiv Sena, which is an ally of the ruling BJP in Maharashtra and at the Centre, also took a jibe at the fixing of the safety net, saying it was akin to treating legs for an ailment in the stomach.