Leaving no stone unturned for making the grand finale of the Kabaddi World Cup a success, almost all top officials were here on Friday out in the field to review arrangements for the event.
However, the officials' enthusiasm had a flip side: In the absence of officers, the public was left at the mercy of clerical staff for getting work done at government officers in the city.
Right from the office of the deputy commissioner and additional deputy
commissioners to sub-divisional magistrates and police commissioner, and from deputy excise and taxation commissioner to the district transport officer - all of them wore a deserted look.
Repeated meetings over the past week had kept officials away from their offices. Even in the week that is to come, officers will be busy in meeting to review arrangements for BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rally in Jagraon on December 21.
Several people coming from far off places, including villages, have been unable to meet officials busy in meetings and preparations.
Resenting the present circumstances, Rajinder Singh, a city resident, described government officials as "tools" of politicians. "From my experience, I have no hesitation in saying that the public is the last in the priority list of the bureaucracy. Surprisingly, bureaucrats are usually away to Chandigarh to attend meetings with the chief minister, his deputy and cabinet ministers, or are busy in meetings with their staff in Ludhiana. What is the point behind so many meetings when the public suffers," he said.
Ludhiana city, with a population of 35 lakh, has inadequate officials as against other districts, which are smaller in area and population.
Bureaucrats should be free from their political bosses; only then can they deliver good work. Unfortunately, public dealing is being ignored at every step.
Bhajan Singh, a senior citizen
Every office should at least have two senior officials to deal with the people even during VIP visits, rallies and other state functions. Public should get priority over everything else.
Naveen Verma, a city businessman
It is because of the lack of principles in politics that tax-payers are the worst of in the country. Public services always suffer when there is a big event happening in the city.
Preeti Kansal, social activist