Wednesday, May 01, 2019

An Open Letter for Puducherrians.

Reference the news reports in the papers today on the subject concerned.

Here is an enumeration of the following actions or initiatives (or ‘interference’ in day to day administration) by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in the last three years (nearing completion on May 29th).

Beginning with cleaning of beaches , streets, drains and canals. Rewarding Swachhata workers, Municipal and PWD workers and Volunteers for their cleaning and maintaining the same.

Encouraging and promoting the habit of cycling amongst the youth. Inspiring and encouraging volunteerism.

Responding to all public grievances reaching Raj Nivas through open house or otherwise.

*Opening up of RajNivas to the general public or visitors who were keen to see 250 years old Majestic RajNivas.

*Guidance to Dept of Power and Municipalities and others on recovery of pending financial loans and arrears by name and shame and improve technology and internal management with the help of Secretary Power.

Seeking judicial intervention for dealing with errant private medical colleges extorting exorbitant fees from poor aspirants for medical seats and fighting long drawn legal battles to provide permanent relief with the help of strong support of Mr Sridhar, Private Secretary most very knowledgable about legal processes.

*Increasing vigilance on the land grab mafia. Providing relief to vulnerable citizens, senior and French nationals with the help of Collector.

*Promoting and advocating the use of helmet wearing as a measure of road safety. ( to not much avail still)

*Facilitating the improvement in water table through a movement of Water Rich Puducherry through CSR in desilting.
Also cleaning of the urban drains to avoid flooding of the city with sound support of all departments of the government of Puducherry.

*Using incognito road safety and night round to check on women safety.

*Mentoring of officers for improved administration by practical training and self study. With able assistance of my own Secretariat.

*Promoting and propagating the value of  field work for improved direct public connectivity and sensitivity in expeditious resolution of public grievances led by Team RajNivas.

*Promoting the need for sustained quality communication internally within one’s own department and externally with people for better administration. To provide to speed  and inclusivity in administration.

*Installing collaborative measures by greater use of technology by HODs (inter and intra) with the help of National Informatics  Centre.

*Putting in place control and close monitoring to be accessible 24x7 for any any one. Through close monitoring of the Control Room system by a Chief Grievances Officer Of the rank of Superintendent Police.

*Striving towards appointments on merit cum seniority. Also expediting long pending disciplinary service matters or rules formation or clearing back log of promotions. Putting a halt to back door entries ably assisted by the Secretariat.

*Taking all possible measures of Financial prudence to save Puducherry from falling in a debt trap. And that the administration observes financial discipline in managing its over 7500 Crore Budget for its 14 Lakh population by strictly following General Financial Rules as approved by President Of India. Ably assisted by the Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary.

*Taking the responsibility of Countering misinformation in public domain for people to make better informed choices with the help of PRO and RajNivas.

*Ensuring Raj Nivas maintains a methodical documentation, publications and proper use modern tools of communications with the help of Creative Team at RajNivas.

*Seeking the replacement of the former Chief Secretary by an officer of highest integrity with sound professional skills.
Thanks to the Government Of India.

*Giving people the right to information of files being cleared by Lieutenant Governor’s officer every week by the OSD , Mr Theva Neethi Dhas.

*Observing Public Celebrations ans Leadership series through invited speakers at RajNivas inviting all sections of society, age groups and faiths.
Ably assisted by Comptroller RajNjvas.

*Grooming interns for exposure to administration and inspiring them for ethical leadership.

*Most of all connecting Raj Nivas to the people of Puducherry and making it accessible in all respects including a monthly message on DoorDarshan Jointly with OSD for translating in Tamil.

*Promoting Puducherry as a very hospitable and clean destination for over 14 Lakh Tourists visiting Every year.

*Last but not the least, inspiring officers to be self-driven and the public to become more responsible towards citizens duty.

These practices and more  if sustained will keep Puducherry a favoured destination for all round prosperity of Puducherry.
It does not matter who does. And how much. Key is that we do and the needs are met. Ideally all work together to give people holistic good administration. 

People have to be served. Their needs cannot cannot wait.
With best wishes.
Yours Sincerely
     Kiran Bedi.               May 1. 2019.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

An open letter for the Puducherrians.

Last two and half years RajNivas has tried to work for the betterment of Puducherry, to make it cleaner, safer, greener, healthier and water rich for agriculture, drinking water and sanitation and more.
At times this was resisted by certain vested interests, yet we persued it for the benefit of Puducherry as a whole.
Efforts were also made to strictly work within the allocated budgets passed by the Legislative Assembly so that we do not borrow more (within limits) which shall have to be payed back by our children after some years.
We, used all moneys correctly for the poor and never allowed any diversion.
We were supported the Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary in doing so.
However where there is no money allocated where do we give from?
We had to raise donation support in kind for filling up irrigation channels for our farmers, cleaning drains to prevent flooding, or else the poor in low lying areas would have lost their belongings, meet women’s and school children’s needs, like computers, stationery, story books, footwear, insurance policies for poor people and even their recreation .
We raised rewards and medical checks-up for the deserving poor women in sanitation work. All were gifted with sarees by traders and donors.

( All by raising resources in kind not provided for in our budgets. )

Rajnivas has worked closely both with people in rural and urban areas.
All weekends mornings, by now 216 weekends were spent with them looking at their grievances and resolving them.
We thank people of Puducherry for the respect and regard they given me personally.
We have also tried to ensure that money meant for the poor and needy is not diverted. And whatever is available be correctly used.
We have actually prevented diversion of funds. After a long time staff in Tourism corporation have receives over one Crore of rupees of their provident funds saved because of our proper financial  administration. This has benefitted the lower classes the most. Or else perhaps they would have never ever got.
Also gratuity for ATF without work for so long , and others will be given their gratuity because we had saved their moneys from grant in aid.
We are bound by Grant in aid financial rules which were being violated all along and now stopped.( it is this which has disturbed the CM the most).
I wish to point out that because of the good administration of CS, FS and Lt Governor Office, money’s were saved to give the poor rice or else some portion of it could have been diverted. Details are not known to public. But can be made public in case need arises.
Friends many things we do silently and does not come to public notice. As we do not hold every weekend press conferences.
However I am open to discuss all issues in an open public forum where HCM, his cabinet colleagues and members of the public are present along with Chief Secretary and the Finance Secretary and others on financial issues raised by any one to inform the common people how we have carefully worked to save money for the poor, be it for rice, wages of AFT or Swadeshi Mills, Sugar Mills etc. and Even on issues of road safety due to large number of fatalities. It is to save a common man’s earning member of the family dying by road accident. 

More later.

Look forward to our meeting with HCM and his cabinet colleagues and our concerned secretaries on Feb 21 at 10 AM. Hopefully by then the road will be cleared for public use.
I apologise for all inconvenience caused to you all by road blocks, and mournful drums beaten at night in and around the RajNivas. Those drums have been seized now. But the main Raj Nivas Road is still not Open. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Our 211th Weekend Morning Round

Today on our 211th Weekend Morning Round, as part of our Mission Water Rich Puducherry, we revisited areas which were earlier bone dry, to check their status and the difference in water table. (Tsunami Quarters, Pondicherry University & Pondicherry Engineering College located in Kalapet area)

It was observed that there is an increase of about 4 mtrs in the level from 27 Mtr deep to now hover at about 23 Mtrs deep.
Likely to show more improvement with water flow to come towards the direction.
To sustain the momentum of Water - Rejuvenation, following key points were made for further follow up.
- To Caliberate the Ground Water table area wise, for specific area policies.
- Agriculture department + Public Works + Local Bodies to work together. As consumers and providers of water
- To encourage incentive based change of cropping pattern by farmers to ensure water availability round the year.
- To encourage use of recycled surface water instead of ground water for cooling and vegetation.
- To have an Inter state Co-ordination to reduce drawal of ground water by water industries situated in TN at border areas
- Percolation ponds created in Tsunami Quarters under CSR by Shasun Strides was seen. To be expanded.
- Pondicherry Engineering college to establish Water Treatment Plant & create 9 more Rain Harvesting structures and roof top harvesting.
- Asked the Engineering College and Pondicherry university to involve students in creating water pits or get in the alumni to support to save scarce government resources.
- And more.
- See pictures of the difference made.
Before and after. 👆👆

Friday, November 30, 2018

Today’s news ( so far read the English editions. Others yet to read )

Today’s news ( so far read the English editions. Others yet to read )
is having the HCM rant on financial sanctions and policy approvals by the Administrator’s office.
The fact is Grants in Aid and policy approvals are governed by General Financial Rules and the business rules besides other legal provisions.
And observance of these is the responsibility of the Chief Secretary along with his Secretaries. See Rule 59 of the business Rules. (Chapter VI)
It says as follows.
“The Chief Secretary and the Secretary of the Dept Concerned are several responsible for the careful observance of these rules......”
Hence every time the HCM and the Secretariat sends a file to Administrator’s office for a sanction and approval he and they do so because the rules demand it to be sent.
So once a file is received in LG Secretariat it demands an independent examination by the Administrator.
That is what this approval or sanction implies.
The long prevailing problem lies in the fixed belief of the HCM that the Lt Governor is a mere rubber stamp to endorse what ever is proposed by him.
Then why send the file?
Keep a rubber stamp in your own office and just stamp it yourself.
On one hand HCM sends the file and the other hand he cries foul and complains when the decision is not in accordance with his wishes.
One cannot send files with a pre expected decision.
Regrettably the HCM expects mere endorsements and not independent application of mind. And a decision which suits him even if it is in violation of financial or administrative rules.
This why the Lt Governor of Puducherry is also termed as an Administrator also.
I feel sorry for HCM that he continues to expect something which is not legally and morally correct.
Also what  is not in the short and long term interest of Puducherry.

Monday, October 29, 2018

‘We have saved Puducherry ₹20 crore’

#TeamRajNivas Along with #WaterRichPuducherry

 Team is on it’s 200th Weekend Morning Round. Reviewing Progress made in cleaning 86 KM of 23 Water Channels to water bodies NOW undertaken by Donors themselves. A Unique+historical Community Action & a model to follow @PMOIndia

This desilt has not happened since very long, also saving Govt Exchequer over 20 Crores which it could ill afford.
This is happening by work being got done directly by donor companies by paying the service providers directly.
PWD engineers supervised it.
No financial transaction has happened with Government. RajNivas acted as a bridge between the willing donor and the Machinery Provider.
A most unique and transparent community action.
A win win for all, Industry, agriculture, sanitation, environment, farmers, drinking water, and more.
A model replicable elsewhere. Government plays the role of a facilitator and breaks contractor raj.
These donors will now be awarded Swatchta hi Sewa awards on Nov 3 at RajNivas at 5 PM. U are invited.


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Secretariat decided to recall its financial powers under FR for Grant in aid.

The more we listen to officers and examine the requests for sanction for GIA ( Grant In Aid) files at the LG Secretariat the more it reveals how ‘ callously’ WE have been dealing with release and sanction of grants.
The Secretriat decided to recall its financial powers under FR for Grant in aid.
Erstwhile these files were not being put up to this office as a regular feature...( as records show)
In the past we have been releasing  moneys over the years without due precautions and scrutiny. As is evident so far. ( barring an exception)
Loss over loss was glossed over. Objections from auditors not complied with. And people entered for employment for salaries thru irregular means. And back doors.
Moneys sanctioned for specific purposes were breached and diverted to pay salaries.
Moneys were also released without the departmental policy to use these.
PSUs or Societies deviated from their core functions. And went into More and more of business without having core competences. Amassing huge losses and debts.
Leadership was both political and bureaucratic and both combined are responsible for this state of affairs over years.
Which is why Puducherry is reeling under a debt and not able to pay even its duly recruited employees in time.
It’s said no decision also is a decision.
This is what has been seen when no decisions were taken by combined leadership as a safe option.
It’s no more....
Every reequest for GIA is being closely examined and questions asked.
They are being made conditional to essential performance norms.
It’s a long haul.
It’s costing every bit of the energy at LG Secretariat to review. 
Yet it is limited. We are still at the tips of these icebergs.
This is to inform you it shall not be business/ appraisals as usual.
If a grant is given which is public money, people of Puducherry must get its returns with performance and without diversion.
The Incharge Secretary/ Head, now shall have to certify that objections have been met, no diversions have happened.
And no back door recruitment done.
Or else be prepared for the inevitable. It’s all about financial accountability from which none of us are immune.
Public servants must resist from being spectators and take responsibility for the administration they have chosen to be in. Or else files shall follow defaulters post retirement. As is already happening...
We shall share a list of observations once the first round of GIA is over. To educate and alert you.
If u want your pensions safe stop ignoring what is irregular. 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Calls for alignment with nature..

Bedi calls for alignment with nature

Natural disasters are a product of the compromise on environmental rules and regulations as well as climate change, Puducherry Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi has said.

Talking about the floods in Kerala in the course of a press conference at the Indian Institute of Management-Kozhikode on Tuesday, she said that global warming and climate change were not sparing anyone, including the richest part of the world. “Several times, the United States of America had been hit the maximum. Climate change is not sparing anyone, the reason is the increasing population and the stress on mother earth, the stress on natural resources, water, air or land.”

Ms. Bedi said that over a period of time, with the increase in population, here had been enormous pressure on land in India. “There is high pressure on land for housing, agriculture, industry, and for institution building. Environmental rules and regulations have at many places got compromised. Many disasters are a product of this.”

She said that long-term consequences were not being explained and only short-term policies were being looked at. “As administrators, as community leaders, political leaders, we need to be in alignment when it comes to management of the environment. There are expert opinions, we need to respect them. Examine them respectfully and have a reason for their acceptance or rejection,” she said.

Both acceptance and rejection would have their own implications and only history would judge whether the reasons were right or wrong.

“There may not be any mala fide reason, it can be a bona fide error, a genuine error of understanding a situation,” she said.

Drawing lessons from the Kerala floods, one needed to be very sensitive to environment rules, the former police official said. “It is applicable not only to Kerala, but [also] to everywhere. We cannot compromise on nature, which shows its anger in a very difficult way. We need to manage the pressure on land for housing, agriculture, and industry. And, Kerala is one of the most thickly populated States in the country too,” she said.

Pointing out the difficulty in rebuilding of the rain-ravaged society, Ms. Bedi said that around 27,000 government employees in Puducherry had donated a day’s salary for the flood relief in Kerala. “It is not going to be enough. We may need more,” she added.

Call to practise yoga

Delivering the 23rd Foundation Day lecture at the Indian Institute of IIM-K, Ms. Bedi advised management students to practice yoga to keep themselves fit.

She said they should try to get up early in the morning and soak in the greenery around them.

“But don’t talk while doing yoga,” she said.

In a lighter vein, she requested Debashis Chatterjee, director, IIM-K, to provide mats to the students.

She encouraged the students to build “their foundation” by living each day to the fullest, prepare for the unexpected and be grateful for the present.