Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has asked the chief secretary (CS) to ensure compliance by officials with his recent direction on meeting the public on weekdays, and warned of “disciplinary action” against violators. “I had directed earlier that all officers will be available in their offices to meet public, without appointments, on all working days. However, I am told that many officers are not following this,” Kejriwal wrote to Chief Secretary M M Kutty. He said, “The CS should issue strict warning to all officers that any officer violating these instructions will face disciplinary action.” To tackle the Delhi government’s apparent “disconnect” with the people, Kejriwal had recently said that he, his ministers and officers would open their doors to the public for an hour on weekdays starting June 1.
The Aam Aadmi Party chief had issued a note to the chief secretary directing him to make a formal arrangement for the meetings that would address people’s grievances. “Ministers and others will hold the meetings without prior appointment from 10 AM to 11 AM in their respective offices from Monday to Friday,” Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia had said late last month. The move followed complaints to AAP ministers, including the chief minister, that officers were not accessible to the people, Sisodia had told reporters.
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In the letter, Kejriwal has also asked the chief secretary to ensure that “small boards are put up outside the rooms of each official declaring – ‘This officer is available to meet public, without appointment, on all working days between 10 and 11 AM'”. The board will also carry contact numbers through which complaints can be registered if any officer fails to turn up. Kejriwal, in his letter, has also asked the chief secretary to ensure that telephone calls on those given numbers are “recorded and the transcript of the same are made available to my office daily”.
“The CS should also read the transcript and take appropriate actions against delinquent officials and report back,” the chief minister said. The public meets are a part of an outreach programme that seeks to bridge the gap between the people and the AAP, which faced a humiliating defeat in the Delhi civic polls held last month.