Even as chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced to set village secretariats in all villages of Haryana, the district-level mini secretariat here has no room for medical team performing tests on those seeking driving licence.
With no office to sit in, the medical team at the mini-secretariat here is left with no option than to work in the open air.
Ever since the chief minister's grievance window has been shifted to their office, the team now operates under a tree in the back lawn of mini-secretariat during the sunny days while in rains the office gets shifted to corridor of sub-divisional magistrate’s office.
“We had an office two-and-a-half months ago. However, they shifted the chief minister’s grievance window there and we were asked to vacate. Since then, we don’t have any place to go,” says Jai Dev, laboratory technician.
The seven-member team, comprising a medical officer, an eye-testing technician, two clerks, two lab technicians and one peon, has been carrying their office material every day to the back lawn of the mini-secretariat to perform their duties for last the past two-and-a-half months. The eye-testing is done in the corridor and the blood samples are taken in the open air.
“Every day we arrange our office in the lawn of the mini-secretariat. Initially, it looked weird to sit in the open air and do our work, including various tests, in the open air. But now it has become a routine for everyone. Also, we don’t have a choice. We have been asking the people concerned for a permanent place. The best we can do is to wait for it to come through,” the technician said.
More than 70 to 80 applicants visit the office each day to get their required tests done.
With temperatures starting to soar, even the applicants are getting uneasy with this temporary arrangement. They are also complaining as they have to wait in the long queues for their turn under the scorching sun.
“I wonder what kind of department is this which doesn’t have an office to sit in! Such a long queue in itself is a problem, and standing in the sun makes it all the more difficult. I wish I would have come sometime ago when they had an office,” an applicant Dipender Gupta said as he was sweating profusely while standing in a queue.
Another applicant Rakesh Sharma, taking a dig at the government functioning, said, “If they are not able to provide an office to their own staff, how could they be able to resolve the common man’s problem.”
The medical project for driving licence applicants is run by the district Red Cross Society.
Society secretary Ravinder Lohan, however, is optimistic that the issue would be resolved within a week.
“I had a meeting with sub-divisional magistrate today, and he assured me that we should be getting some place within this week only. It will take us not more than two days to establish our office there,” Lohan said.
Acknowledging that the present scenario is causing problems to his staff as well as the people visiting them, the secretary said, “We had the best office and it was at the prime location. No one visiting us had any complaint. However, the authorities decided to move the CM’s grievance window there. And we were assured that we would be getting some other space.”