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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Medha Patkar files defamation suit

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Saturday, December 16, 2000


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Medha Patkar files defamation suit

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, DEC. 15.

Strong resentment prevails among ruling party legislators over ``indifferent attitude'' of certain officials in Delhi Jal Board (DJB), particularly those in the Finance Department, which had led to a number of projects, getting stalled.

It is not the MLAs alone who are annoyed over the functioning of the Finance Department and the Member (Finance), Ms. Sumati Mehta. Even top officials of the Delhi Jal Board are learnt to be upset over her functioning. She has not only acquired the reputation of endlessly delaying projects but also of not getting along well with senior officials.

Sources in the DJB said even its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Pradeep Mehra, is reportedly not happy. The MLAs have lodged a strong protest over her attitude and have taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, Ms. Sheila Dixit.

Surprisingly, various projects, which were supposed to have taken off months ago, have still not been cleared despite instructions from the Chief Minister, who is also DJP Chairperson.

The failure to pull up officials for inefficiency has once again highlighted the fact that the political leadership is hardly taken seriously by the bureaucracy. ``The Chief Minister is Chairperson of the DJB. If this is the situation of a body directly under her, what impression will it convey to other wings. This reflects poorly on the Government and, of course, Ms. Dixit, and conveys that officials do not listen,'' a senior MLA rued.

The MLAs are of the view that if the Member, Finance does not follow the instructions of the Chief Minister, she has no right to remain in that position. A number of projects are learnt to be pending in the Finance Department and continue to be the victims of ``babu culture''.

``This attitude had to go and when we talk of professionalism in execution of projects, there should be professionalism in the functioning of the Board also. The system of lethargy and self- interest should be done away with and there should be speedier clearances of projects,'' remarked an MLA.

A senior Outer Delhi MLA said: ``These projects are part and parcel of the Congress policies and poll manifesto. These are the promises we made to the people. If we are not able to fulfill these, then the people will not forgive us,'' he added.

Many legislators said till the projects are cleared by the Finance Department, they cannot come up before the Board for clearance.

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