Odisha CM revives grievance cell, durbaar every Monday

Since then the grievance cell was functioning till Covid-19 struck with one additional secretary and two joint secretaries handling the affairs.
Odisha Chief Minister designate Mohan Charan Majhi
Odisha Chief Minister designate Mohan Charan MajhiPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has revived the much awaited public grievance hearing which has been discontinued since 2008. He will henceforth hear public grievance at the designated grievance cell of his official residence at Unit-V from July 1, 2024. which falls on Monday.

“It will now be a Monday affair of every week as was in practice earlier. Coincidentally, July 1 is Monday and the CM’s grievance cell will start functioning on a regular basis,” sources in the Chief Minister’s office said.

Hearing of public grievance will begin from 11 AM for which registration will be done from 9 AM to 12 o’clock.

“It is for the information of the general public, persons having genuine grievances will have to register their names and submit their complaints in written. The same will be forwarded to the grievance cell for redressal,” said a statement from the CMO.

Former Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had last visited to the CM’s grievance cell for a hearing on August 16, 2008. In his 24 years at helm as Chief Minister, Patnaik had heard to the plight of people on 76 occasions.

He had attended the grievance cell for the highest number of 20 days in 2001.

Since then the grievance cell was functioning till Covid-19 struck with one additional secretary and two joint secretaries handling the affairs. The cell was closed for nearly two months in May and June of 2019 due to heat wave condition but resumed from July 1 the same year.

As Covid happened in 2020, the CM’s grievance cell was closed for almost two years due to restrictions. Though it was restarted after the lifting of restrictions, the foot fall at the cell came down drastically.

This provided an opportunities to Patnaik’s then private secretary and former 5T Chairman V K Pandian to take the CM’s grievance cell to the doorstep of the people by carrying out a massive excercise and reaching to 190 locations of the state of 30 districts. He claimed to have collected 57,442 petitions from the people of which 43,536 petitions were resolved.

This gave the opposition a political handle to attack the Chief Minister for allowing a non-Odia officer to run the government and apparently choosing his political heir apparent. Then came the Odia Asmita to play a major role in the election campaign leading to the fall of the 24 years rule of BJD government.

After assuming the charge of Chief Minister on Jun 12, Majhi has been meeting people at the State Guest House and listening to their grievances. The Chief Minister has met more than one lakh people at his temporary office.

Earlier, the state government has ordered for resumption of the public grievance hearings in all its departments and district level from July 1. The General Administration and Public Grievance Department has directed authorities concerned including district collectors and superintendents of police to resume hearing of public grievances on Monday of every week.

The GA&PG department has directed that all grievances received for hearing should be registered on the Jana Sunani portal for record.

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