Agitating section officers allege superiors ignoring CM orders

Bhubaneswar: Work at the heads of department office in Bhubaneswar and directorates across the State has come to a standstill as members of section and ministerial officers’ associations have been staging a pen-down strike since last 17 days over delay in restructuring of their cadre.

More than 3500 section and ministerial officers working at the heads of departments office and divisional offices at Sambalpur, Berhampur and Cuttack have resorted to an indefinite cease-work alleging that their senior bureaucratic officers are not implementing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s order of cadre rejig.

Due to the protests, important works like pension-processing, transfer related works and other government services have come to a grinding halt.

“I had an important file pending in the Nursing Board but due to the protests I could not get my case cleared even after coming to the office twice in a week,” said Sudeshna Nayak, a resident from G Udaygiri.

Talks are doing rounds that the secretaries and senior officials in the bureaucracy are not complying with the directives of the Chief Minister and the agitating officials have blamed the chief minister’s principal secretary and senior officials of the Finance department for the issue.

Earlier on March 16 this year, CM Naveen Patnaik had announced restructuring of heads of department section officers, but even after months, nothing has been done, informed sources.

Ashok Kumar Das, Vice President of Heads of Department Section Officers’ Association said the secretaries have rejected their demands for a restructuring in the cadre and so they have resorted to a strike.

Madhu Mallick, Advisor of the association said it is a well-planned conspiracy to prevent the cadre restructuring by none other than the secretaries of the finance department.

At a time while the protests seems to be intensifying, the Finance Minister has thrown the ball to the Law department’s court.

“After the Law Department reviews their demands, the Finance department will take necessary action,” Finance Minister, Sashi Bhusan Behera said.