By Durgesh Upadhyay
Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar says as the senior-most bureaucrat, he experiences no difficulty in the working of the government due to political turn of events.
”I don’t think I have any difficulty as far as the functioning of government amid political turmoil is concerned because the spheres of both are different. The political developments do not impinge anyway on the working of the government which very smooth,” he said in an exclusive interview with www.newstrack.com here.
The1983-batch IAS officer Rahul Bhatnagar is holding top bureaucratic post of largest populated state of India i.e. Uttar Pradesh since last few months. Earlier, he was principal Secretary of Finance department and had a satisfying tenure.
Admitting that UP, with a population of almost 22 Crores and if counted among the countries it will probably be the sixth or seventh largest country in the world, have so many issues related to development regulation law & Order and others which are very important for the public, the UP CS said it required lot more planning, effective implementation and delivery which cater to this large population.
Rahul Bhatnagar also conceded that over the years the expectations of the people has increased. Earlier they may have desired hand pumps to be installed in the village, now the people want village, to be wi-fi enabled. ”The challenges have increased, this is a natural and positive trend and the development should be measured by this. This is the reason that work culture now should be constantly oriented towards the expectations of the public,”he added.
When asked about the key focus areas at the fag end of present government’s tenure, he said ”we have concentrated lot on infrastructure and tried to mobilize maximum resources weather they are budgetary resources or extra budgetary resources so that the government can bring in major roads, irrigation projects, which had been stalled for several years, on revival path.” The power sector is another shining example of the achievement of the government as it has ensured 24 hours electricity to the urban areas and 18 hour electricity to rural areas, he points out.
The UP CS goes on to list various schemes in the social sector like a women pension scheme benefiting 55 lakh women,old age pension, widow pension, disabled persons pension etc. ”So you can say with an average 5 people in a family, 5 crore people out of population of 22 crores are benefited directly by social security schemes. We have also started a major accident insurance scheme which will covers, all the farmers plus all the people whose income is less than 75000 per year i.e. more than 3 crore people,” he claimed further points at health facilities in the state which included starting a cancer hospital in Lucknow and major medical institution like SGPGI, KGMU, Ram Manohar Lohiya Institute being developed into institutes of excellence.
Earlier during 2006-12, Rahul Bhatnagar had a very successful deputation in Government of India as joint Secretary, Sports ministry. That was the time when India had netted 101 medals in Commonwealth games with he was assigned to look after preparations of players for the games. To a question, he said ”it was a matter of great satisfaction. We were second in the medals tally after Australia and that was a matter of great pride.”