Under the Mo Sarakar initiative, as Patnaik himself claims it, he is trying to ensure better delivery of government services.
BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik seems to be bent upon marking his fifth term in a different way. He has started an initiative called “Mo Sarakar” through which he plans to ensure “transparency” and “accountability”.
Under the Mo Sarakar initiative, as Mr Patnaik himself claims it, he is trying to ensure better delivery of government services.
In the first phase, the government, on an experiment basis, has taken up two departments - health and police administrations - to see if services provided by these two wings are actually reaching common people.
The CM, who also holds the home department, recently made random telephone calls to a host of people who visited different police stations to lodge complaints. He wanted to know from them if they were treated properly at the police stations; if their cases were lodged and copy of the complaints given to them. Besides, he checked if they were asked to pay bribes to initiate action on their complaints.
Mr Patnaik was shocked when some of the respondents gave one out of five marks for the services given to them at different police stations. Some respondents even complained that they were asked for bribe. Mr Patnaik immediately suspended some police officers for their behaviour.
After examining the functioning of police administration, Mr Patnaik entrusted state chief secretary Asit Tripathy and V. Kartikeyan Pandian, secretary of 5Ts department ( 5Ts stands of Teamwork, Transparency, Technology, Transformation and Time), to check healthcare services in district headquarters hospital. The two top bureaucrats accompanied by a few other senior officials visited various district headquarters hospitals where they got taste of the sorry state of affairs plaguing the delivery of healthcare services.
At some hospitals, the officers found patients getting treated on verandah of the buildings and on the floors inside wards due to lack of the required number of beds. They also found doctors and other paramedics absent at certain hospitals. The bureaucrats immediately placed some of them under suspension and ordered departmental proceedings against a few others.
Apparently buoyed by public appreciation of his actions against errant officials of police and health departments, the CM on Wednesday announced to extend the Mo Sarkar initiative to five more departments by December 1, 2019 and remaining departments by March 5, 2020.
The Mo Sarkar initiative was preceded by dismissal of as many as 45 corrupt government employees who were found guilty by the state vigilance department. A few other government employees, charge-sheeted by the vigilance department, were also placed under suspension.
The Opposition, however, is not enthused by the CM's initiatives. It finds political motive in the Mo Sarkar initiative.
“Now, the ruling BJD, which has been in power in the state for 20 years boasts of Mo Sarkar initiative. If it is Mo Sarkar now, whose Sakar was ruling the state all these years? This is all drama and aims at diverting people's attention from the government's failures,” said senior BJP leader and Union minister Pratap Sarangi.
Veteran Congress leader Suresh Kumar Routray went a step further saying Mr Patnaik was “master actor”.
“When the popularity graph of the BJD goes down, Mr Patnaik writes a well-crafted plot and choreographs it so perfectly that people think it a real-life story. The CM can no longer hoodwink people,” said Mr Routray.