Babus in Karnataka have a working Sunday

Bangalore: There are often complaints that you never find government officials in their offices when you are looking for them. Calls or visits to Karnataka’s Secretariat or Vidhana Soudha are often met with the response that ‘saab’ or ‘maydum’ is not in his or her seat.

Which is what made this Sunday in September so different. If weekdays sometimes see empty offices, Sundays, an official holiday, are absolutely deserted.

But the thousands of pending files upset Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who ordered bureaucrats of key departments to head into office on Sunday and put their noses to the grindstone. So it was a working Sunday for bureaucrats in Karnataka.

It did not help that the month of August was full of long weekends – but the recently launched drive to clear up the backlog hopes to make a dent in the thousands of files that are pending. The effort was headed by Chief Secretary, Kaushik Mukherjee, who was on the spot himself to make sure everybody was on the job.

“This is not a new thing… we have had this type of campaigns before. We need to set our own house in order. We were doing this quietly – I don’t know how the media came to know about it. Today, we are focussing on the departments of finance, urban development and revenue. We will assess on Monday morning the number of files cleared and continue the drive as necessary,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Hopefully, it will be a step towards a swifter, more efficient bureaucracy in the state.

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