After 16 years, public grievance hearing begins by CM under new BJP Govt in Odisha


Bhubaneswar, July 1: In a significant development, the Chief Minister’s Public Grievance Cell (CMPGC) in Odisha, which was virtually rendered defunct for over 16 years, re-opened on Monday under the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. New chief minister Mohan Charan Majhi sat for hours and listened to 1,540 grievances.

The grievance hearing which started per the schedule at 11 am continued till afternoon.

People were seen standing in long queues before the grievance cell to register the names.

The re-opening CMPGC assumes significance as former CM Naveen Patnaik – who ruled the state for 24 years – from 2000 to 2024 – would not come to the public grievance cell since 2008. A lot of people alleged that their grievances fell on deaf ears in the past government.

In fact, the Chief Minister’s Public Grievance Cell located in Unit V area here in the city had turned into a meeting place of a select number of senior officials of the previous government and certain Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders. After the new CM Majhi announced last week that he along with senior officials would listen to people’s grievances on every Monday, the CMPGC was readied on a war-footing.

Police personnel, officials of various government departments and volunteers were on Monday found working hard to provide all possible support to the sea of grievance seekers who were literally struggling to get their names registered so as to meet the CM for justice.

The CM Majhi’s grievance hearing found resonance in government agencies like Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Commission (BMC). These two agencies reactivated their grievance hearings mechanisms.

As per official sources, the public grievance hearing in BMC and BDA will be conducted every Monday (except government holidays) between 11 am and 1.30 pm. Earlier, the grievance hearing was stopped on March 16 due to the model code of conduct for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in Odisha.

On Monday, a lot of people approached the BMC regarding problems due to open drains, vending zones, roads and other issues.

The local residents alleged that despite repeated complaints regarding open drains and other issues, the authorities in the past only gave assurances to complete the work. But, nothing changed.

BMC Commissioner Rajesh Pravakar Patil said, “Most of the grievances that came up were localised. We will hold a meeting with senior officials and take appropriate steps. There are land acquisition and other litigation matters for which some works are pending. We will try to resolve these issues. We have taken up some drain related works.”

According to Patil, the work for installing slabs over open drains will be completed within one and a half months. Temporary barricades have been installed at 25 different locations.

“Some slabs are getting damaged during cleaning works and we are looking at it apart from taking steps for permanent solutions. At vulnerable points, temporary barricades have been set up and pumps have been deployed for localised water-logging issues,” Patil added.

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