Never on Saturdays at Fort St George

While top officials work hard, staff in some depts play truant
Chennai: If you are new to Chennai or want some information from the secretariat, better stay away from Fort St. George on Saturdays as it is a holiday.
“Saturday is a holiday, why do you come,” is the standard statement that Pandu Rangan, a PA, has for all visitors. “Whether the IAS officers are there in the office or not, don’t come; and now you can leave.” A few visitors learnt the lesson the hard way.
It’s a catch-22 situation, say office assistants. The bureaucrats, mostly IAS officers with high profile posts, and young ministers, work hard, putting in long hours even during weekends to clear the backlog.
But staff from departments with a light work schedule do not come on Saturdays. Citizens do not know that Saturday is a holiday, and seeing a section of IAS officers or ministers working on Saturdays, they come seeking appointments the next time, creating tension for middle-level officers and office assistants.
“It is a perennial problem; when the secretaries come to work on Saturdays, staff from a particular department come for duty, but work with a long face and vent their anger on visitors,” says a joint director.
However, it was business as usual on Saturday for the CM’s special cell, chief secretary’s chamber, the information department and the newly inaugurated gymnasium at the secretariat. A prominent display board, informing people about Saturday being a holiday, would also be useful for those coming to the secretariat from long distance. They could decide in advance to stay away on weekends.
( Source : dc )
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