Bihar to sack 81 absentee doctors
In October last year, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had triggered unrest in the state’s medical fraternity by announcing that more than 700 doctors were absent from their place of work for as long as 12 years but were still drawing salary.
In a major crackdown aimed at curbing absenteeism among the medical fraternity, the Bihar cabinet on Friday gave its nod to the health department’s proposal for sacking as many as 81 government doctors, who have abstained from their duty for the past several years, said a senior official familiar with the decision said.
“Among those sacked, 64 doctors have remained absent from duty for more than five years,” additional chief secretary (cabinet) S Siddharth said after the meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
One of them, Satyendra Kumar Sinha, medical officer of Kewatsa primary health centre (PHC) in Muzaffarpur district, has been absent for the past 20 years. Another doctor, Pravin Kumar Sinha, too, has not attended duty since 2008.
In October last year, deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, who also holds the health portfolio, had triggered unrest in the state’s medical fraternity by announcing that more than 700 doctors were absent from their place of work for as long as 12 years but were still drawing salary. Yadav had then hinted that the government would act against such doctors soon.
“The deputy CM’s disclosure was apparently intended to expose the anarchism prevailing in the health department that was being headed by BJP leader Mangal Pandey during the previous stint of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by CM Nitish Kumar,” said a senior leader of the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
In another important decision, the cabinet approved the urban development and housing department’s (UDHD) proposal to build treatment plants on 173 drains, which fall into different rivers, including the river Ganga, in an effort to ensure that untreated water is not disposed into rivers. The department has allocated ₹161.62 crore to be spent on building the sewage treatment plants on these drains.
The state government has also given its go-ahead to the industries department’s proposal to extend financial incentives to seven industrial units located in different parts of the state. These include Regal Resources Limited (Kishanganj), New Way Homes Pvt Ltd (Begusarai), Ayog Agro Pvt Ltd (Vaishali), Micromax Biofuel Pvt Ltd (Muzaffarpur), Bihar Solar Projects Pvt Ltd (Banka) and Patel Agri Industries (Nalanda).
The cabinet also approved one-day state mourning on Friday as a tribute to former union minister Sharad Yadav, who died on Thursday after a prolonged illness.