Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) has decried the prevailing trend of ‘mass absenteeism’ in government offices in the district, stating the same is giving rise to public grievances.
“We request both the State Government and the Heads of Departments (HoDs) to take up appropriate disciplinary actions against the erring officers and staffers and redress the issues at the earliest,” TNL President Hopingson A Shimray told media persons during a press briefing at his office chamber on 16 November.
He highlighted that various important public services continued to be disrupted due to the problems of mass absenteeism by officers and staffers of different government departments in the district.
“Because of this, the public here cannot help suspecting the government and HoDs to be apathetic and lackadaisical towards the poor functioning of government offices in the hill districts like Ukhrul,” he contended.
According to the TNL chief, majority of government departments in the district are functioning without the concerned officers and also without adequate manpower. “While in some departments, officers and staffers are regularly absenting from their workplaces, in others the government has failed to provide officers and requisite manpower,” he pointed out.
“We have found out seven such worst departments in terms of functioning and efficiency at the moment, though there are many more,” Shimray noted, while adding that many of these departments are not serving the public but functioning according to the convenience of their officers.
He said that among the sick departments included Sub-Divisional Office (SDO) of Lungchong Meiphai, District Election Office (DEO), Minor Irrigation (MI), District Exchange Office (DEO), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), District Transport Office (DTO) and PHE Department.
Shimray then urged the government and the HoDs to immediately look into the sorry state of affairs in the government departments and initiate necessary actions against the mass absenteeism by the government employees.
“In the case of SDO, LM Block, the government has not provided the officer and only entrusted SDO Ukhrul to look after the same. Similarly, District Project Officer of ICDS Ukhrul is being assigned to simultaneously take charge of three districts including Kamjong and Tengnoupal,” he disclosed.
Hinting lack of concern on the government’s part, Shimray said that it was evident and the government knew it very well that the officers concerned, being assigned with dual or more charges, would never be able to serve the public efficiently.
Shimray further contended that although the Exchange department is an important one for educated youths who are seeking jobs in various ways, the government has failed to provide replacement of DEO for the department after the officer retired in March this year. “In the same way, the government is yet to provide the Election officer and is again in the care of SDO Ukhrul,” he said.
“Look at the Minor Irrigation department. None of the staffers, including the district officer and engineer are stationed here, except a clerk. How is it supposed to function without the staffs?”, he questioned.
The TNL leader then strongly reprehended the manner in which the government is allowing the District Transport Officer and the Executive Engineer of PHE Department to remain absent from their work places for a prolonged period, even as the public are deprived of their services.
Lamenting that the district transport office is currently being run by only two staffers, he appealled to the authorities concerned to improve the strength of manpower in DTO and other departments.
“We have also learnt that some of the officers visit their workplaces occasionally. We request such officers to be stationed at their respective stations because their occasional visits could aggravate the virus spread in this Covid-19 pandemic,” he pleaded.