CM ticks off top official
By Our Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD, NOV. 30. The Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, has asked Ministers and senior secretaries to constantly update their information for better supervision and monitoring of works.
The advice came at the Collectors' conference here on Friday after the Principal Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, drew flak from Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, for giving 4-year old data relating to rural water supply.
The official, Mr. R. P. Singh, in his power-point presentation on the subject listed the number of villages without safe drinking source as in April 2001. It was 1,014 villages in Nalgonda, 1,145 in Srikakulam, 1,062 in Visakhapatnam and 1195 in Warangal.
An alert Mr. Naidu tripped the official, interjecting: ``I cannot believe it (the figures). It cant be so high for Warangal district. We have pumped so much money there'' and demanded,``What is your source?''
Mr. Singh said the information related to 1997. As he tried to explain, the Chief Minister said,`` I am not prepared for arguments. This information is 4 or 5 years old. You and the Minister should sit together and update information. I am not happy.''
Mr. Singh explained he was busy with a series of meetings, but Mr. Naidu said surely he did not attend his (CM) meetings. Senior secretaries should frequently make field visits for better appreciation of ground truths. Was he not touring districts despite tight schedule, Mr. Naidu asked.
The Chief Minister indicated that subsidy would be given to rainwater harvesting structures in fluoride-affected villages. There were about 6,000 villages where the fluoride content of water was below 10 particles per million and 3,000 villages where it was above 10 ppm.
Mr. Naidu renewed the Government's commitment to construct 4 million individual latrines as it was a promise given to the people in the last elections.
Mr. Ajay Jain, Collector, Ranga Reddy district, Mr. Somesh Kumar (Anantapur), and Mrs. Poonam Malakondaiah (West Godavari) made presentations relating to their districts.
Mr. Chandrababu Naidu was very happy with Mr. Jain's presentation and congratulated him.
Mr. Naidu and others had a heart laugh when in his SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of Ranga Reddy district, Mr. Jain mentioned ``high crime rate'' as ``opportunities!''
Mr. Jain proudly listed Hitec City, IIIT, Biotech Park, etc, among ``important landmarks'' of the district. No marks for guessing that the Chief Minister was mighty pleased.
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