On surprise check, M. Venkaiah Naidu upset at officials being late

Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Thursday. 	— PTI

Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on Thursday. — PTI

Urban development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday returned “upset” after a surprise checking drive of punctuality of officers and cleanliness in the Nirman Bhavan premises as he noticed callousness among senior officials with regard to reporting to duty on time.

Mr Naidu arrived at the Nirman Bhavan, which houses the urban development ministry, at 9 am unannounced and began taking a round of several floors of the buildings and even checking some rooms to get a first-hand experience of how government officers are maintained.

Sources in the ministry told this newspaper that many officials did not turn up work at 9 am and came “quite late” which irked the minister who later summoned the urban development secretary to express his displeasure over the issue. The minister was greeted with empty chairs when he entered several rooms.

“Mr Naidu was not happy with he callous attitude of senior officials who did not report to work on time. He walked in to the offices of various officials who had not reported to work by 9 am. He expressed his displeasure and pulled up the officers on duty. He said being late to work is not the ‘Modi Mantra’,” a senior official said. The floors were not cleaned properly, wires were hanging lose from the board and the lift which Mr Naidu took did not work properly, the official said, adding that the minister expressed his displeasure to the secretary. Mr Naidu also checked canteens and toilets.

“He was upset that a lift in which he took to his office was also not working properly,” the source said.

The inspection came after a directive from the Cabinet secretary asking all ministries and departments to keep their premises clean and create a conducive environment for officers to work. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently taken a round of the PMO and see for himself how the office is maintained.

Pulling up senior officials, the minister said that the department needs a revamp as far maintenance of office buildings is concerned.

“Mr Naidu also conveyed to the officials that timings and keeping the office environs up to date is a part of the Modi Mantra,” the source said.

“Mr Naidu later called Secretary (Urban Development) and other senior officials including those belonging to CPWD and conveyed his displeasure over late arrival of officers and other staff and poor maintenance of the working place,” an official statement said.

It said Mr Naidu emphasized that a presentable and efficient working environment are the need of the hour and necessary action should be taken to remedy the deficiencies that have come to his notice at the earliest. 

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