Bureaucracy; bane of Uttarakhand

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Dehradun : If the recent utterances of Kumaon University vice chancellor, Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar and now director of AIIMS, Rishikesh, Dr Raj Kumar are to be believed, the Uttarakhand bureaucracy is its bane.

Though the residents of this small mountain state have been claiming ever since Uttarakhand came into existence in Nov 2000, that the alleged black sheep of Uttar Pradesh bureaucracy came to the newly carved state and are a hindrance in its development, intellectuals are also now toeing the line. Bureaucracy

Not mincing words, AIIMS director, Dr Raj Kumar told scribes at Rishikesh that the state bureaucracy was a hurdle and coming in the way of the facilities that should be provided to the premier medical institute, which is coming up in Uttarakhand and will save the people from the clutches of expensive quality medical care.

He alleged that as required the 10 MVA power line had not been provided and there was no positive outlook towards the proposal of the 50-acres of land that have to be provided to the institute. “Things have reached a stage where bureaucrats are not even replying to the letters being sent to them”, he maintained.

Dr Raj Kumar went to the extent of accusing the state bureaucracy of having a negative attitude towards the premier medical institute adding that the six-lane road that had been proposed outside the institute was just on paper.

He alleged that he had even met the chief minister regarding the matter and had been given all assurance, but nothing materialized after which he had been seeking time from concerned quarters to expedite the matter but to no avail.

It may be recalled that the Kumaon University vice chancellor Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar had quit his post alleging large scale interference by the state bureaucracy in even matters of appointments and other issues and trying to do away with its autonomy.

With these allegations by two top intellectuals of the state, the recent statement by Uttarakhand vidhan sabha Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal is getting due credence and those who had opposed him are being forced to eat the humble pie.

Kunjwal had claimed that large scale corruption in politics, administration and day-to-day function were eating into the very vitals of this small mountain state, which many claim is in its infancy and it was time that the people, specially the intellectuals got together to save it fro m the doom towards which it was heading.

Incidentally, lack of able political leadership is the reason why the bureaucracy, against which, many fingers have been pointed and are being pointed, is having its way and the ministers or for that matter the politicians are not able to put them down.

The locals feel that most of the politicians who are calling the shots in this small mountain state are those who would not have even won a local body election in Uttar Pradesh, but as in Uttarakhand an MLA constituency is even smaller than a local body area in say Uttar Pradesh, they have managed to get elected, despite having no experience of governance.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

3 Comments

  • Lt Gen Dr Mohan Bhandari says:

    Absolutely spot on !
    Great analysis.Dismal leadership coupled with lack of dedication & poor staff work by Babus -both these have led to the sorry state of affairs in Uttarakhand. Unfortunately, this Hill State has been led to garden paths by respective govts over the years.The very thoughts & ideals that led to it’s formation have been lost sight of.
    The interference by the Babus in almost everything,with Politicians remaining mute spectators being hands in gloves, has led to the present impasse on all fronts in this Land of Gods,warriors & Artists.

    • CSN says:

      Quite right. Bureaucracy and politics both have become a bane. And what is more appalling is the apathy of people towards the failing of state. Lack of experience of our politicians is what the bureaucrats usually take advantage of. Its very much required that the elected representative assemble themselves together – irrespective of their differences – and make the bureaucracy work. Not only is this possible but also the need of the hour if the Uttarakhand as a state has to survive. Or lets wait for Article 356.

  • prakk says:

    It is so easy to put the blame on bureaucracy. They are bound to work under their political masters, unless their discretionary power can be used.

    Can we compare the actual stature (intellectual, education and experience) against the ill-motivated political class? No, doing that is a mistake. Time calls for sending appropriate political class, which can motivate and allow the bureaucracy to work towards people development. We do not need politicians imported from outside state with no credibility, vision and aspiration to lead the state.

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