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UP stands still, officers go places

YET ANOTHER team of the Government officials yesterday left for a trip to Japan, Thailand, South Korea and a few other countries, ostensibly to study the functioning of the cooperative sector in these countries.

india Updated: Nov 11, 2006 01:32 IST

YET ANOTHER team of the Government officials yesterday left for a trip to Japan, Thailand, South Korea and a few other countries, ostensibly to study the functioning of the cooperative sector in these countries.

Coincidentally, each member of the squad happens to be a Yadav. They are Jogendra Yadav, director of UP Cooperative Bank (UPCB), Ganga Din Yadav, registrar, Cooperative, Shambhu Singh Yadav, special secretary to the CM, and Onkar Yadav, managing director of the UPCB.

Dharmendra Yadav, chairman of the UPCB, who is also nephew of the CM and a Samajwadi Party MP from Mainpuri, was also supposed to be a member of the team. He was, however, ‘advised’ by the CM to stay back and concentrate on his constituency.

It is noteworthy that the CM himself had expressed his displeasure over frequent foreign trips of the officials as the same benefited none. It is another matter that every team that goes on a foreign trip invariably includes at least one officer of the CM’s Secretariat, whose sole responsibility is to get the foreign trip approved by the CM. As a result, there is hardly any officer left in the CM’s Secretariat, who has not gone on foreign tour at least twice.

According to general feelings, most of these foreign junkets at public expense are nothing but pleasure trips for the officers as neither the state nor the departments concerned gain anything from the visits. As per rules, the officers are supposed to submit a report to the Government with details of their experience on foreign land and come up with suggestions which could be beneficial for the state or its people. But this, needless to say, is hardly adhered to.

Also, there had been quite a few instances when these trips have raised questions. Everybody knows there is no large-scale farming of flowers in the state.

Yet a team of officers of the Horticulture Department and the Mandi Parishad last week visited the Netherlands and Belgium ostensibly to tap possibilities of flower export. Those who went on this trip included Jayti Chandra, principal secretary, Horticulture and Food Processing, SB Singh, director, Horticulture, Rajendra Tiwari, Director, Mandi Parishad, Satyendra Singh, additional director, Mandi Parishad, Avadesh Singh, deputy director, Mandi Parishad, SP Singh, Secretary, Mandi Parishad and of course Jagdev Singh, special secretary to the chief minister.

Then take the case of UP State Tourism Development Corporation (UPSTDC). A team of officers of the cash-starved Corporation is already visiting London, Rome, Istambul and a few other countries on an expenditure of Rs 18 lakh.

The tour, which was earlier for three days only, was later extended to ‘enable’ the team to visit a few more countries on its way back to India. In addition to this, another group of the UPSTDC comprising the Tourism Minister, principal secretary, Tourism along with the director general and chairman of the corporation had visited Berlin in March and a sum of Rs 24 lakh was spent on it from the Government exchequer without any benefit to the department or the Government.

A month later, the corporation had to pay a sum of Rs 11 lakh on the Dubai trip of the Tourism Minister and two other officers of the UPSTDC. In September, the corporation paid the bill of Rs 13 lakh on the Hong Kong visit of the chairman.