KOHIMA, March 5 - What can Government employees do but be in office when the Chief Minister himself reaches office at 9.30 am sharp in the morning?
According to the Nagaland Chief Minister�s Office (CMO), Kohima, 81-year-old Chief Minister Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu means business and he also means to stick to the �mantras� he dictated to the Heads and Administrative Heads of Departments on February 23 last, the day after he was sworn in, when he along with his Cabinet colleagues reached the Civil Secretariat at 9.30 am. He told them, �Be punctual in office; set your office in order; and give the best of your services to the public.�
Not many Government employees at the Secretariat or the Directorates are known to reach office on time, nor are they known to stay till 4 pm. But when the new CM insists that he reaches office by 9.30 am, what else can be said but that a new era in Governance is set to be ushered in very soon with timings for the thousands of Government employees � at least, in the Secretariat � about to be drastically changed.
The CMO said that reaching office exactly at 9.30 am on Saturday, he directed his aides to go to the departments and collect attendance of the officers and staff alike by 10.30 am. And he did not seem to be very pleased with the reports brought to him later by his staff. By afternoon, word spread like wildfire that the CM had sent his staff to check on the attendance of employees in the Secretariat.
�Salaries are paid to Government employees and they are required to attend to their duties for a specific period of time on all working days,� he told his aides. �If traffic congestion is the reason employees cannot reach their office on time, they should leave home early for their places of work.�
Departure for the Secretariat from his official residence located at the other end of the city is fixed for 9 am every morning � as and when he does not have other engagements � and he insists that his movement through the city �should not inconvenience any member of the public.�
�I am a public servant and I have no right to inconvenience the people I serve while moving through the city,� he emphatically told his OSD (Security) and insists that his convoy wait out in the traffic jam like any other motorist caught in the morning rush.