In absence of winter secretariat in Srinagar, the government has directed the deputy commissioners and head of departments in the Valley not to leave their offices without prior permission from the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir.
The government used to set up winter secretariat in Srinagar for addressing the problems of people in the Valley following the shifting of its administrative offices to Jammu where ministers would remain available for the redressal of public grievances on rotation basis during winter months.
Unlike the past, it has been decided there will be no winter secretariat this time. The Civil Secretariat was closed in Srinagar on October 27 and reopened in Jammu on November 7. Now to ensure officials would remain available in the Valley to address the grievances of the people during the winter months when ministers won’t come for the winter secretariat in Srinagar, the government has instructed the officers in Kashmir not to leave the station without prior permission from the higher authorities.
“All divisional level head of departments, deputy commissioners of Kashmir shall not leave the station without prior permission of the office of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir. If any officer is called for a meeting to Jammu, he/she shall inform the office about the same in advance. Any deviation of these instructions shall be viewed seriously and action as warranted under rules will be taken against violation,” a government order said.
Further the government has instructed the officers to ensure availability of officers in addressing day to day grievances of the public.
The departmental heads according to sources have been told that facility of video conferencing must be used effectively and travel for the purpose of attending meetings should be avoided to the extent possible. “During winters it had become a routine for the officials to spend time in Jammu. But this time strict instructions have been issued to officers not to leave the Valley as people face immense inconveniences during winters so they should remain available for solving people’s problems,” a senior official at divisional commissioner office said.
He said in view that winter secretariat won’t be functional during winter months, the official said government has directed the officers to ensure 100 percent attendance of employees.
“When ministers won’t be available it is these officers who have to listen to the people’s problems and address their grievances,” the official said.