One dept, many headquarters

Jul 06, 2012, 06:46 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

The state's secretariat is here, there, and everywhere, and as a consequence, their operations are proportionately confused, say officials.

Even though the government ‘resumed work’ on June 25 a mere four days after the blaze, things are far from normal. The most unsettling part of the new ‘arrangement’, if one can call it that, is that the fragmented secretariat is now scattered all over the city, with different parts of the same department spread across different buildings — while staffers operate from one temporary location, their secretaries and chiefs lounge in another. And chaos reigns.

Someone moved the office: After the blaze, deputy CM Ajit Pawar’s staff has been working from Vidhan Bhavan, while Pawar himself works from Mantralaya

For instance, the chief minister’s office is working from five different locations. CM Prithviraj Chavan prefers to sit at his Vidhan Bhavan office, while his secretariat is scattered across the four locations — Vidhan Bhavan, the new administrative building, the Mantralaya annex and the main Mantralaya building.

While deputy CM Ajit Pawar works out of his office on the first floor of Mantralaya, his staff is located at Vidhan Bhavan.

Public health minister Suresh Shetty, who vacated his first floor office for the CM, is now seen at the office of minister of state Ranjit Kamble on the second floor. His staffers, however, continue to work from the first floor.

Minister of state for home Satej Patil alias Bunty has taken a chamber at Vidhan Bhavan, while his staffers are seen reporting at his official residence at Sarang building, near Y B Chavan Centre.

Other ministers — including Harshwardhan Patil, Rajendra Darda, Babanrao Pachpute, Ganesh Naik, Padmakar Valvi, Sanjay Deotale, Sachin Ahir, Prakash Solanke, Fauzia Khan — have been conducting their duties either from their official residences or their chambers at Vidhan Bhavan.
23 secretaries of various departments have been relocated, separated from those working under them.

This random ‘organisation’ of offices of course means that files and documents are in a state of constant motion, flying from one building to another in a flurry of chaos.

Insiders fear that this state of disarray will effect the functioning of the bureaucracy, especially during the monsoon session of the state legislature, when briefings, discussions will have to be arranged among babus scattered across the buildings.

A secretary revealed that the urban development department has been relocated to four different places, while the water resources department is spread over no less than seven different locations. The home department is spread over four floors in the World Trade Centre and two floors in new administrative building, while the general administration department is working from two places.

Needless to say, this arrangement, or the lack of it, is causing great inconvenience among visitors, who have to run from pillar to post negotiating the haphazard allotment of fragmented departments. More often than not, officials cannot be located as they are off meeting a superior here or a subordinate there, said an official.  

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