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Teething troubles for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

Wednesday, 9 July 2014 - 3:55pm IST | Agency: PTI
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Call it birth pangs or teething troubles, everything still remains unsettled over a month after Andhra Pradesh and Telangana came apart as two states. Two new governments are in place but yet there is no tangible sign of governance, more so in Andhra Pradesh, say political observers.The 'order to serve" issued for bureaucrats and other government officers and staff actually seems to be not serving any purpose in the absence of clear allotment orders.

The Union Department of Personnel and Training is yet to complete the process of cadre allocation of All India Services officers (IAS, IPS and IFS) while the Kamalnathan Committee, appointed by the Centre to distribute state government officers and staff, has also not finished its job. "Officers are simply not motivated to work before the division," a Principal Secretary-rank IAS officer remarked.

The Centre has made a "provisional" allotment of 44 IAS and 31 IPS officers, besides those already posted in districts, to Telangana following the bifurcation. The rest have been given to AP but still some officers have "one foot here and one foot there", holding different posts in the two states. Almost every Secretary or above rank IAS officer, in both states, is holding charge of more than two departments as part of the "adjustment" process. Given the "uncertainty", some of the IAS officers are now looking towards New Delhi for a Central posting on deputation.

Telangana and AP are facing different sets of problems on the bureaucratic front. The "over-indulgence" of "advisors" to the government in Telangana is said to be proving "irksome" for the bureaucrats. "The advisors are insisting on referring all files to them before clearance. There is no such business rule and this is leading to some friction," a top-ranking IAS officer, who did not want to be identified, pointed out.

Telangana ministers are experiencing a different kind of problem as they are forced to appoint only "freshers" as their personal secretarial staff as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao barred appointment of those who had served with previous ministers. The "inexperience" on the part of these aides is clearly telling as they are all at sea in carrying out their tasks. "Most of them, though being gazetted officers, have no idea how to circulate files. They are still learning the ropes in the Secretariat," a senior official observed. Besides, uncontrolled flow of visitors to the Secretariat is keeping the ministers otherwise engaged, hampering regular work.

The tale is different in AP. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is himself without an office chamber yet and is forced to operate from a temporary "camp office" in a government guest house. His Cabinet colleagues have all got chambers but many IAS officers are still searching for a room in the Secretariat. The Chief Minister has two Principal Secretaries and a Secretary who are all accommodated in just one room in Secretariat. The room is overcrowded with the addition of Chief Minister's Officer-on-Special Duty.

A sum of Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned to ready the chambers for AP CM and his aides in Secretariat but the work is not being executed quickly. It may take another two to three months before their chambers take shape. "The Roads and Buildings Department engineers and staff are from Telangana and we don't have our people here. This explains the delay in the work," an aide of the CM noted. Everybody, on both sides of the divide, is eagerly waiting for all formalities related to the division of cadres to be completed at the earliest for governance to come on track. 


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