Chandy's mass quantum of solace
By Express News Service | Published: 27th October 2013 10:10 AM |
The heavy rains that lashed since early morning did nothing to deter the spirits of thousands who gathered at the Collectorate compound on Friday. They patiently waited for hours, stood in the queue and poured their woes before Chief Minister Oommen Chandy when he came onto the crowd, making a wave among them.
The second edition of the Chief Minister’s Mass Contact Programme in Ernakulam district had close to 10,000 complaints, of which majority were seeking treatment aid.
True to the spirit, more than half-a-crore rupees was distributed to the complainants by evening.In the morning, the LDF laid siege to the Collectorate, causing major traffic bottlenecks in the entire region.
The blockade which began at the Seaport-Airport Road was barricaded by the police, following which LDF activists staged protests at seven different locations at Kakkanad for about four hours. A huge police posse was seen on the Collectorate premises and the surrounding region.
The final preparations were over by around 8 am and the programme began with opening remarks by Excise Minister K Babu. Inaugurating the initiative, Oommen Chandy said there is no point in blaming the officials for delay. “We need to have new orders. After the first phase of the programme, 45 new orders were issued to find solutions to such issues,” the Chief Minister said.
At 9 am, Chandy began listening to the grievances and settling the applications along with his Cabinet colleagues K Babu, K C Joseph, Anoop Jacob and Ibrahim Kunj.
Along with MPs and MLAs from the district, hundreds of officials from 7 taluks, 11 municipalities, 84 panchayats and 120 villages assembled to carry out the follow up.
Unlike last time, the applications were clearly sorted and a clear system was in place. Once the Chief Minister goes through the applications already categorised and reviewed by the department concerned, he listens to their woes; then a short interaction with others; and finally makes his decision and writes the same on the paper.
On and off, Chandy took time to visit wheel-chair and stretcher-bound applicants. As usual, Chief Minister’s ambulance visits made merry photo opportunities for cameramen. At 1.15 pm, Chandy began collecting direct applications from the crowd, which lasted for about an hour.
The highlight of the day’s programme was the patta distribution for 252 families at Rameswaram Colony at Fort Kochi. The initial 10 patta distribution, with a contribution of `65 lakh from Kochi Corporation, was made by the Chief Minister himself. As part of the tribal rehabilitation at Edakkattuvayal, patta was given to 73 people.