Saturday, September 25, 2010

After Many Months Sheila Awakes Now Asking Report from Ministers

After a rap from the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, at Thursday’s emergency meeting, chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday put all her six cabinet ministers on alert, asking them to go for field inspections and fix drawbacks. In a belated attempt to salvage the show, the chief minister along with senior officials of her government camped for most part of the day at the Games Village to get things done.

The message to her ministers came at a cabinet meeting. The entire state government machinery will now focus only on Games-related preparations though the sense of urgency seems to be coming too late in the day. She has often blamed the media, besides the rain, for playing the spoiler and repeatedly promised that everything would turn out to be okay in the end.

Soon after the cabinet meeting, the CM rushed to the Village. The principal secretary to the chief minister, PK Tripathi, was at the Village through the day, monitoring housekeeping. Chief secretary Rakesh Mehta divided his time between official meetings, Village and secretariat. From dog catching, sanitation arrangements, fire hydrants to housekeeping arrangements now being executed with the help of professionals from five-star hotels, officials claimed to be monitoring everything small and big.

The lights were out in the offices of nearly all cabinet ministers. While transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely was first seen at the Barapullah elevated corridor, he was later busy inspecting the bus depot at Sarai Kale Khan which houses the buses for athletes and delegates.

After flagging off the trial run at Barapullah elevated road, the minister in-charge of PWD, Raj Kumar Chauhan, went for an inspection of the Ring Road bypass and later reviewed work on roads at Maharani Bagh and Bhikaji Cama Place. Health minister Kiran Walia, urban development minister AK Walia and food & civil supplies minister Haroon Yusuf too were out on inspections.

Labour minister Mangat Ram Singhal was the only one available in the Delhi secretariat in the later half of the day. He, however, said that he had been assigned north and northwest Delhi. At the end of the day, the CM office released the schedule of inaugurations lined up for Saturday.

For the record, in July the chief secretary’s office had issued an official memorandum on the directions of the chief minister drawing up an inspection schedule for ministers and officials.