What do Government employees do but be in office when the Chief Minister himself reaches office at 9.30 am sharp in the morning?
81-year old Chief Minister of Nagaland Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu means business and he also means to stick to the mantras he dictated to the Heads and Administrative Heads of Department on February 23rd last, the day after he was sworn in, when he along with all his Cabinet colleagues reached the Nagaland Civil Secretariat at 9.30 am: Be punctual in office; set your office in order; and give the best of your services to the public.
Not many Government employees at the Secretariat or the Directorates are known to reach office on time, nor are they known to stay till 4 pm. But when the new Chief Minister is ready by 7 am and raring to attend office, and insists that he reaches office by 9.30 am, what else can be said but that a new era in Governance is set to be ushered in very soon with timings for the thousands of Government employees – at least, in the Secretariat – is about to be drastically changed.
Reaching office exactly at 9.30 am this morning, he set about his aides to go to all the departments and collect attendance of the officers and staff alike by 10.30 am. And he did not seem to be very pleased with the reports brought to him later in the morning by his staffers. By afternoon, words spread like wildfire that the Chief Minister had sent his staffers to check on the attendance of the Government employees in the Secretariat.
“Salaries are paid to Government employees and they are required to attend to their duties for a specific period of time on all working days,” he told his aides. “If traffic congestion is the reason employees cannot reach their office on time, they should leave home early for their places of work.”
He has also instructed his officers not to entertain any appointments even for the Ministers and legislators with him at his private residential office “except under unavoidable situations.”
“I have a fully functional office at the Secretariat, and so have they. They should attend their offices and if need be, meet me there at the Secretariat. And so should bureaucrats,” the new Chief Minister has this standing order.
Departure for the Secretariat from his official residence located at the other end of the city is fixed for 9 am every morning — as and when he does not have other engagements – and he insists that his movement through the city “should not inconvenience any member of the public.”
“I am a public servant and I have no right to inconvenience the people I serve while moving through the city,” he emphatically told his OSD (Security) and insists that his convoy wait out in the traffic jam like any other motorist caught in the morning rush.
This is a rare gesture in a city where people often complain of VIPs overtaking motorists caught in traffic congestions thereby causing worse traffic jams.
And when the head of the State is in such a mode, perhaps, others will take a cue for him and we might see some changes in the society – the change starting from the top levels of the society.
(Issued by Media Cell, Chief Minister’s Office, Nagaland)