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Puducherry Chief Secy on confrontation course with govt

Puducherry, Nov 25 (IANS) The confrontation between the Chief Secretary of Puducherry and the government reached a boiling point with the recent visit of a central team for damage assessment in rain affected areas.

While the Chief Minister had requested the Union Home minister for a Rs 300 crore relief, the administration projected the losses between Rs 15 to Rs 20 crore to the central team which visited Puducherry and Karaikkal along the rain-affected areas of Tamil Nadu.

The legislators of the ruling AINRC, BJP combine and some independent MLAs and the lone Congress MLA have protested against the Chief Secretary not acting in the best interests of the state. The legislators have threatened to stage a 'dharna' in the secretariat if the officials do not heed to the request of the people's representatives.

BJP legislator Kalaynasundaram said that there are 20 IAS and 20 IPS officers in the Union Territory but they are reluctant to conduct field visits. This was the reason for the administration's failure to assess the damage incurred properly.

Legislators of AINRC and the BJP complained that the officials were lethargic to conduct field visits and that the people's representatives would conduct protests across the state against the attitude of the officials which, according to the legislators, are not in the good interests of the people of the territory.

The legislators also complained that the administration is unable to perform during natural disasters, including rains, due to the acute shortage of staff. There are around 10,000 vacancies of government staff including that of Deputy Thahsildhars, Junior Engineers, Teachers, Village administrative officers, Electricity linemen, and police constables. The legislators said that several other posts are also lying vacant leading to the failure of field visits and proper reporting.

MLAs said that the elected government had given proposals to fill up these vacancies but the Chief Secretary was not sanctioning.

The confrontation between the elected government and the Chief Secretary would lead to a situation wherein the administration will not be able to manage heavy rains and rain-related miseries.