Blaming government officials for the delay and cancellation of projects, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti today said sometimes it becomes difficult to get things done from bureaucrats.
“Ground water board office was proposed to be set up here (Raipur) for a long time. Land was available, but money was being wasted…Bureaucrats are birds locked in cages and they don’t come out of it. If (we) bring them out, then they come slowly,” she said.
She was speaking at the opening ceremony of first Asian Seminar on Water and Land Management for Food and Livelihood Security here at the agriculture university.
The minister was apparently referring to the delay in setting up National Water Training and Research Institute of Central Ground Water Board, of which she laid foundation stone at Naya Raipur.
“Anything can get cancelled from them (bureaucrats), but nothing can be initiated by them. Cancellation is so easy, restriction is so easy (from bureaucrats), but generation and creation is so tough and difficult…For this 56-inch chest is needed,” she added.
Speaking to reporters on the sideline of the event, she later clarified thatbureaucrats work within the framework of law enacted by the law makers.
“It’s easy to cancel many things. But it is tough to start somethings, as they (bureaucrats) work within the cage of rules framed by us. When we leaders ask them to do any work (in public interest) surpassing the laid down norms, it becomes difficult for them and they become reluctant,” she said.
She added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked bureaucrats to introspect and the ministers were also told to get involved in that and the presentation were held at PM’s residence. “This is for the first time bureaucrats, politicians and public are working together, so that work can be carried out in public interest without any hindrance,” she added.
When asked about the Mahanadi river water dispute between Chhattisgarh and Odisha, she said both the states should take into accounts concerns of each other.
“There is no ban on projects of Chhattisgarh and Odisha (over Mahanadi river). I will tell Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, which I have already told Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh and water resources minister Brijmohan Agrawal that both the states should take care of each others’ concerns,” she said.
She also dismissed as “baseless” the charges that since BJP is in power in Chhattisgarh, the Centre has been overlooking the interests of Odisha over Mahanadi issues.
“Confusion has been created by Opposition through misleading statements like that Chhattisgarh, being a BJP-ruled state, has got Centre’s support, which is completely wrong. The Centre under PM Modi works as a team India and there is no question of discrimination or partialty against any state,” she added.