Project Sadbhavana to start from February 1
GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma emphasized making the Assam Secretariat people-friendly. He lamented that the Secretariat had failed to live up to the expectations of the people, due to which the common people were moving away from the government. This, he said, is not a good sign for any government.
While interacting with the staff and officials of the Assam Secretariat at Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra in Guwahati today, Chief Minister Sarma said that files are kept pending in the Secretariat for years. After some time, people stop coming to the Secretariat out of sheer frustration. He also drew attention to the emergence of a section of people who operate as middlemen. They take money from people and assure to get their files passed in the Secretariat. Chief Minister Sarma said that by taking decisive action to clear all old cases and close the long-pending files, the State Government will start the implementation of Project Sadbhavana from February 1, 2022.
"No rocket science is needed to clear pending files," the Chief Minister said during his interaction with the staff and officials. "If employees are dedicated and work with sincerity, cases can be easily disposed off in no time. The government has clear guidelines on how to dispose off files. Employees just need to follow these guidelines and if they face any problems they can always consult their senior officials. But it is seen that files keep gathering dust in the Secretariat. Everyone - from a peon to the Chief Secretary- must work in a dedicated manner," he added.
The Chief Minister said that Project Sadbhavana has been undertaken by the State Government as a one-time exercise to dispose of all pending cases in a time-bound manner by May 10, 2022, which will bring a huge relief to the citizens. Sarma said that it will result in closing files and making space in the departments. Clearing all the old cases will drastically reduce the number of visits to the Secretariat too, he observed.
From February 1, a portal will be launched. People whose files are pending in the Secretariat can quote the file number or reference of government communication regarding the old cases in the portal. "By May 10, 2022, these files will be disposed off or rejected as per rules," he said.
Chief Minister further said that as a minister for the last 20 years, he had observed that the Assam Secretariat does not function as efficiently as the Cabinet Secretariat. A healthy work environment is missing in the Assam Secretariat, he lamented. "Employees put in merely 2-3 hours a day to do productive work," he said, and added, "The Secretariat is for policymaking. Common people should not come here. But, since 1985 it has become a sort of tradition for people to come to the Secretariat to get government work done. Employees have also forgotten that they are here to serve the people. However, now times have changed. Employees must redefine and re-dedicate themselves to the service of people."
The Chief Minister announced that all government offices will become paperless by May 10, 2023, and the government will initiate the implementation of e-office system at the Secretariat. He also informed that along with Project Sadbhavna, the Assam Government aims to undertake Swacchta drive to create a healthy working environment at the Secretariat.