Himachal Pradesh government reimburses the mobile phone bills of officers to make them more responsive towards the public and their representatives. But the officers allegedly have now become discourteous and are reluctant to attend the calls on their mobile phones, much to the chagrin of public representatives.
Irked over non-responsive babus, the state government has issued a circular, advising the heads of departments, directors and other high and middle-rung officers to attend to calls on mobile phones. "It has come to the notice that officers are not extending the courtesies to the public representatives," reads the circular issued from the office of chief secretary P Mitra. The circular also mentions that the certain officers had been denying appointments to the public representatives.
The government circular reportedly came after directions from chief minister Virbhadra Singh. It is learnt that the CM had been receiving complaints from public as well the public representatives, including the elected representatives of panchayati raj institutitions that officers usually don't respond to their calls and many of them were not even ready to meet them.
Women representatives who were in Shimla to attend a convention organised by Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) complained to chief minister Virbhadra Singh over "discourteous" officers.
The circular directs the officers to be more courteous to the public representatives who visit various offices including those in the secretariat. The officers have also been advised to attend the calls of the public and their representatives and redress their grievances at the earliest.
This is not the first time that government has issued such a circular. A similar circular was issued during the Bharatiya Janata Party regime by the then chief secretary Sudripto Roy. The state government reimburses phone bills of the government officials with the sole aim that they don't hesitate in taking and making calls to the public with regard to latter's grievances.