Straight Drive: Flood Tourism

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, August 28, 2022, 11:48 PM IST
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Mantri ji took several rounds of a particular flood affected village in his constituency in Raisen district on a motorboat in a single day and each time he took a round there was a different journalist with whom he shared, what he said, his efforts to provide relief to the affected villagers. Interestingly, Mantri ji himself posted the video clips of his trips, which show less of relief work and more of his media bytes. Of course, publicity matters for a Mantri during floods too.

MISSING FROM SCENE

Our energy minister is full of energy when he visits his home turf Gwalior. He is found getting into choked nullahs to clear it, climbing transformers to clean the surface, checking quality of construction work etc. But he was conspicuous by his absence in the state capital city which plunged into darkness due to power cut amid rains on Sunday night and power supply could not be restored for more than 36 hours in many areas. However, Mantri ji’s decision to ‘go missing’ was correct as he couldn’t have done anything in that situation given unprecedented heavy rains leading to unprecedented power cuts.

CHEETAH TOURISM

Ultimately, the forest minister managed the official tour to South Africa even as the Cheetah translocation project gained momentum after the central government’s much awaited agreement with Namibia. What he learns from there as the head of the visiting team and the department and how he applies the same in his decisions are yet to be seen but officials in the department have an interesting topic of discussion particularly in light of his previous statement that snoring invited leopard attacks.

STRONG BONDING (caricature requested)

Often there are stories of conflict between additional/principal secretaries and the ministers but animal husbandry minister Prem Singh Patel trusts his additional chief secretary (ACS) JN Kansotia so much that their bonding is a point of discussion in the power corridors. Their bonding was strengthened more since Mantri ji was taken ill seriously and he had to be shifted to Mumbai for his treatment. An officer said the trust factor has resulted in hardly any interference by the minister in the senior officer’s work. This is why the department is getting awards too for its work.

UNTIMELY DEPARTURE

‘Lost a passionate and fierce civil servant, an elder sister, a mentor, a role model in many ways. It’s an untimely & irreparable loss’ was written by IAS officer P Narahari on the demise of IAS officer M Geeta (51). She had fought a legal battle against the union govt’s order when allocated to Chhattisgarh cadre in 2000, for more than 5 years. She wanted relief mentioning a ground that similar relief was given to other IAS officers like Bimal Julka, Mohd Suleman and others but her petition was rejected in the high court. Known for several innovative practices and mingling with people at grassroots level to ensure governance, M Geeta sadly lost another battle now, though on health front, in a Delhi hospital.

DOUBLE WHAMMY

It was not long ago when Panna collector Sanjay Kumar Mishra earned the wrath of the high court which said he was working like a political agent in a case related to local bodies polls. But, interestingly, the collector has now earned the wrath of the chief minister too. When during a review of PMAY work CM wanted to know about the reasons behind the delay in implementation of a certain percentage of PMAY project the collector attributed the same to Geotagging. The CM was apparently unhappy and expressed his displeasure as geotagging couldn’t be a reason for delay in execution of any project for about 4 months.

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