THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Prompted by the farmer’s suicide at the Chembanoda village office in Kozhikode and the rising complaints against the offices in the state, Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan shot off a letter to all village officers of the state on Thursday asking them to treat people as friends.
Chandrasekharan also warned of strict actions against officers who did not address complaints at the earliest.
“Though directives in this regard were issued earlier, the situation at village offices has not changed. This will not be tolerated,” he said. He encouraged staff at the village offices to become whistleblowers against corruption.
Only a small section of village staff indulge in corruption. Still, the other employees have a responsibility to expose such corrupt officers,” he said.“The recent suicide of a farmer at a village office in Kozhikode cannot be treated as a minor issue. One also saw a village officer accepting `50,000 as bribe. Such things are not sudden developments but had been going on for a long time,” he said.
He exhorted the village officers to become team leaders and behave in a friendly manner with people, most of who were poor and had faced several hurdles in life. “Village officers form the base of the administrative system. People have to visit the village offices at least once in their lifetime. No other office has such a direct link with the people. However, village offices have come under criticism since the past several years,” said Chandrasekharan.“I agree with the staff there is workload and not enough time to finish the work. However, this should not become a hindrance to treating people,” he said.