Dilli Ka Babu: Railways under pressure
Though an enquiry has been ordered, the bigger challenge for rail babus is to measure up to Mr Modi.
Though surveys conducted at the second anniversary of the Modi sarkar rate the railways as having performed commendably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi isn’t, if leaks anything to go by, totally impressed with the ministry’s performance. At a recent infrastructure review meeting Mr Modi is said to have taken rail babus to task for only completing redevelopment of one railway station, at Bhopal, despite the target of 400 stations.
Beyond the meeting with Mr Modi, rail officials were left red-faced when a new escalator inaugurated at the Mathura railway station developed a snag during an inspection by Mr Mittal. Though an enquiry has been ordered, the bigger challenge for rail babus is to measure up to Mr Modi.
U.P. Racing against time
As UP moves inexorably towards next year’s state Assembly elections, Samajwadi Party leader and state Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav is feeling the pressure, and making his babus feel it too! Babu-watchers have noted a sense of urgency in the government as it races to complete developmental projects. The recent mass transfer of more than 100 IAS, IPS and state service officials is being seen as Mr Yadav’s way of reminding bureaucrats that time is running out fast.
Sources say that the chief minister has set up a Project Monitoring Group, which has apparently met more than 40 times in the past few months, to fast-track projects and meet deadlines. The group comprises chief secretary Alok Ranjan, principal secretary for finance Rahul Bhatnagar, and the chief minister’s secretary, Partha Sarthi Sen Sharma. It is reportedly overseen by Mr Yadav himself. There is a lot at stake and the group’s efforts have ensured that 80 per cent of the government’s projects are “on track”.