Secretariat turns a no-work zone

Secretariat turns a no-work zone
Highlights

With not even a semblance of work in the past 25 days, the state secretariat these days presents an unseemly sight with huge piles of files lying on chairs, tables and every available area of flat surface. The administrative hub of 23 districts is now in a mess with mounting piles of over 90,000 unattended files, including about 3,500 in the Chief Minister’s Office. The files in the CMO include those pertaining to Arogyasri. The problem is likely to worsen if the Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum implements its decision to boycott work from September 2.

  • Over 90,000 files pile up with staff staying away
  • CMO has about 3,500 files to dispose of
  • Even files marked “emergency” wait for action
  • With APNGOs going on strike from Sept 1, the situation will be worse

Almost all Seemandhra minsters, except one or two, have not been attending to their offices since August 1. Only these pending files will take over two months to get cleared

Ravindra Seshu

Hyderabad: With not even a semblance of work in the past 25 days, the state secretariat these days presents an unseemly sight with huge piles of files lying on chairs, tables and every available area of flat surface. The administrative hub of 23 districts is now in a mess with mounting piles of over 90,000 unattended files, including about 3,500 in the Chief Minister’s Office. The files in the CMO include those pertaining to Arogyasri. The problem is likely to worsen if the Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum implements its decision to boycott work from September 2.

The piles of files everywhere are so appalling that observers say such backlogs have no parallel. The scene is no different in the Samata block, which houses the CMO. Even files marked “emergency” are being added to the existing pile. Different reasons are being cited for the sorry state of affairs at the secretariat. The Chief Minister and Seemandhra ministers are busy touring Delhi and taking part in parleys for considering ways to forestall the division of the State.

Almost all Seemandhra ministers, except one or two, have not been attending to duties in their offices since August 1. It would take about two months to just clear the existing lot of pending files, sources said. Complicating matters, the employees led by the Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum (SSEF) have been supporting agitational programmes after boycotting duties in protest against the Congress Working Committee’s decision on State bifurcation.

To counter the Seemandhra employees, the Telangana employees are busy chalking out plans to resist agitation by their counterparts. The Telangana ministers are busy conducting meetings and evolving strategies on how to pacify the agitating Seemandhra employees.

The piles of pending files are formidable in revenue, irrigation, social welfare, medical and health, panchayat raj, education, industries, agriculture and finance depatments. There are 31 departments and 560 sections in the Secretariat, where normally at least 4,000 files are disposed of in a day. Interestingly, the files related to service matters in various departments are not being touched.

“A file would move from one table to another, from one section officer to his higher officer and one department to another within the secretariat. Some files would be disposed of at the secretary level, a few at the level of principal secretary and others at the level of the minister”, K Chandrasekhar, an official in Finance Department said.
Secretariat Telangana Employees Association president Narender Rao said, “It is a fact that file movement has slowed down because of the stirs. The employees have been clearing only urgent files”. Of all the departments in the State Secretariat, the Tappal Section - inward and outward - holds the key to the administration and acts as a bridge between all departments. Though, the ‘Tapal’ section has dutifully been dispatching the files, they are kept aside in the sections. No one is ready to open them.
Even the number of visitors has come down significantly. K V Krishnaiah, Secretary of Secretariat Seemandhra Employees Forum, said that they had been disposing of urgent files, particularly those sought by some of the ministers and higher officials. He said that many of the files in the Secretariat are directly connected to people’s issues. Ramakrishna, another official said, “Even if they have not been coming to the Secretariat, some Seemandhra ministers have been clearing ‘select’ files from their houses. It is a very unfortunate situation, but the persons at the helm of affairs should be faulted for this”, he sums up.
Minister for Industries J Geeta Reddy on Friday met SSEF leaders Muralikrishna and Ramesh and enquired about their problems in State division. The Minister tried to inspire confidence in them, saying all the issues would be solved by experts committee.

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