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Column: The Challenge Of Implementing Good Programmes

By Ashutosh Mishra

Bhubaneswar: Mo Sarkar as a concept is excellent. It is aimed at improving the quality of governance and bringing government closer to people. By extension it also means involving people in the process of governance.

However, for the idea to click it is important to implement it properly. A good beginning was made with the launch of the programme with chief minister, Naveen Patnaik himself monitoring its implementation. Initially the impact was visible with people visiting police stations reporting excellent behaviour by the men in khaki.

Hospitals were also in focus during the first phase of the implementation of the programme. With chief minister taking personal care and his senior officials visiting hospitals to review performance doctors and paramedics made special efforts to enhance the quality of their service.

However, soon there were complaints that policemen were only making a show of being courteous to people but in reality remained as corrupt as ever. There were also allegations of hospitals in far away areas turning away people and doctors behaving indifferently with patients.

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There were reports about hospitals being spruced up ahead of the visit of 5T officials and doctors pretending to take best possible care of people. However, things were back to square one as soon as the inspecting team left. In once instance a senior official was accused of not paying any attention to the complaints of common people about irregularities in hospitals.

Now more departments have been brought under the ambit of Mo Sarkar which is seen as complementing the chief minister’s 5T initiative. One of the most important departments to have been brought under it is the agriculture department. The department is currently under focus because of more than one reason.

While a new agriculture policy has been announced there is a renewed effort to remove obstacles in the path of KALIA scheme which was touted as one stop solution to the problems of farmers. All this has kept the department in focus.

Hence, expectations from Mo Sarkar are high as far as the agriculture department is concerned. It is not easy to meet these expectations and it is obvious from the reactions of farmers. Many of them are unhappy with the way KALIA is being implemented. There have been complaints about government launching the scheme in a hurry and then botching up its implementation.

Quite a lot of farmers are angry that the government decided to vet beneficiaries after distributing money to them initially without any screening. Now those who have been found ineligible are reluctant to return the money. Farmers have other problems also like distress sale of paddy despite having a bumper crop.

Currently the department seems to be struggling to meet the expectations of farmers. Any failure is bound to trigger resentment which will become difficult to handle. Even the government is aware of such challenges and should be prepared to deal with it.

This is what happens with most good programmes. They raise the expectations of people but these expectations can be met only with honest implementation of these programmes. The government, thus, faces a daunting challenge in the implementation of Mo Sarkar.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same)

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