Sometime back Janice Gomes brought into focus her plight when she went to do her Aadhaar Card at Margao. Her plight is not her’s alone . It is the plight of most of the citizens of this State. We find ourselves generally with a non –friendly and a non-cooperative administrative set up. The administration has sometimes been so callous to the common man that one has to go on umpteen times, to get one’s job done in any government offices.
Government employees generally behave themselves ---with a few exemplary exceptions--- like bosses with authoritarian attitude. They are not friendly to the common man . A few days back, one of our Goan TV channels, highlighted the plight of people going to the Mamlatdar’s office of Quepem. They discover government employees, absent from their seats. They had come to get their ration cards for which documents were submitted in October, 2011 and still after coming so many times, they cannot get their ration cards. Employers are found absent from their seats and others employees are seen giving unnecessary excuses.
Good governance implies not only general development of the state with big projects but much more than that --- people’s satisfaction with the administration. Therefore, the administration has to be people friendly, helpful and concerned. Innumerable examples can be cited where people everyday meet with non friendly, non cooperative and sometimes hostile administrative staff in various government offices.To begin with ,when you go to any office for any work or job, you are not told about the entire set of required documents for processing a particular job or application. They will tell you to bring one document. When you visit them the second time you are told to get another set of documents. When you visit them the third time, you are instructed that one more additional document is required. This goes on. In the process, precious time and money is wasted.
The Citizen’s Charter is to be enforced in every government department. The respective government departments should make available various application forms duly printed at a nominal cost, with a list of all the required documents to be attached to the application. Some government departments will require to fill Bank slips for payments which go directly to the treasury. One finds no objection to that, but there are departments where you are told to bring bank Demand Drafts for petty payments which , in my opinion , is not at all necessary.
The writer had this kind of bad experience twice: first for non functioning of electricity meter four years back, when I was told to do a bank DD for Rs100. to process the application, and recently for similar non functioning of the electricity meter wherein I was asked to get a DD for Rs10. The bank charges is Rs 34. for a single DD of Rs10. Every the government department has a treasury section. Couldn’t the Electricity Department collect the required sum directly and issue a receipt for the same? Where is the need to obtain a DD?
I could bring hundreds of instances where the common man is harassed by the administration for no fault of theirs. I will bring to the notice only one such incident. About five years ago , when I was coming down the stairs of the Mamlatdars office in Margao an old woman said to me, “ I had to come 13 times to this Mamlatdar’s office to get my ration card.” This is our plight today where you have to go so many times to the Government departments to get your work completed.
Service to the public is an honorable job ,where the government employee should be a friendly person, trying to help his fellow citizens. They feel they are the bosses in their chairs. They are ignorant of the fact that they would not be there if the people were not there. I do not want to say that every government employee is in the same category. There are exceptions. There are many government employees who are very kind and helpful. They work with zest and are very helpful to senior citizens. May their tribe grow in numbers. The respective departments should honour them annually.
Courts under the Collectorate (civil courts) are no better. Frequent adjournments are the order of the day, as the presiding officers are either busy with administrative matters or are called for a meeting. Is not the duty of the administration to inform the litigants -either by telephone or any other means- that the hearing for the day is cancelled or postponed? Litigants and advocates have to waste their unnecessary time for no fault of theirs and the respective parties have to pay the advocates without a hearing
Today, many Village Panchayaths have become hot beds of corruption. Your job will not be done unless you pay under the table. When will we see better times? Will our Chief Minister ,who enjoys the reputation of being an able administrator, set this administration in order?