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Khanduri targets 'babus' in administrative reforms.

Blaming the Congress of having failed to rein-in the bureaucracy, one promise made by BJP in its poll manifesto for Uttarakhand was to provide an accountable administration.
None | By Utpal Parashar, Dehradun
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2007 06:01 PM IST

Blaming the Congress of having failed to rein-in the bureaucracy, one important promise made by BJP in its poll manifesto for Uttarakhand was to provide a corruption-free, transparent, accountable and people-friendly administration.

Having secured the mandate for change, the two-week-old Bhuwan Chand Khanduri has now set the tone for bringing about reforms and bringing the "derailed administrative machinery back on track".

While the ND Tiwari regime was accused of being soft on erring bureaucrats, the former Major General has made its clear that corruption, irregularities and slackness in duty of any kind will not be tolerated.

One of the first orders issued by the new government was to direct all officials posted at remote hill areas to join their place of posting immediately instead of spending their time in the state capital and other plain areas of the state.

To prevent misuse of official cars by bureaucrats holding charge of more than one department, it was also directed that each official would be allowed only one car and restrictions were also imposed on its use.

"We found that officials responsible for more than one department were using several official cars. For places connected by rail network, officials on tour would now have to use trains," said Khanduri.

Taking the reforms drive further, the government has now issued directions to principal secretaries and secretaries to provide information about financial and administrative irregularities in departments placed under them.

Details have also been sought on the officials found guilty of wrongdoing and administrative action initiated against them. Scams reported during the Congress regime are also being inquired into.

Irregularities in procurement of computers, leasing out agricultural land to private parties and appointments to various departments are also under scanner. The details are to be submitted within the next three days.

Apart from cleansing the administrative setup, the new move is also being seen as an attempt to target the previous Congress government and blame it for the problems plaguing Uttarakhand.

Khanduri has been maintaining that all cases of corruption in the past five years would be probed and stringent action initiated against those guilty. A white paper on the state's financial health is also being planned.

"We are serious about bringing out a white paper detailing the present financial condition of the state as the public wants to know about the status of Uttarakhand's economic health. But first we have to dig out details of expenditures incurred by various departments," the Chief Minister had said recently.

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