Professional - Special Secretary to Lt Governor, Delhi

L G activates better Delhi campaign, Kiran Bedi in tow
(Times of India, 15 April 1997)

    AFTER TWO years of being out in the cold, Kiran Bedi has emerged in a new avatar as special secretary to the Lt Governor, Tejendra Khanna. The Raj Bhavan is buzzing with activities with the LG stepping up efforts to make Delhi a better place to live in. His office now doubles up as a center where people can air the grievances to the LG and look for solutions. Be it a crime, a civic problem or a fight with the neighbours, the LG's house now has a special section to handle complaints within 24 hours.
    ’The focus is on people's problems. People come here when they feel there is nobody to listen to their problems. They come here expecting justice. They need a patient hearing and a quick solution,’ says Kiran Bedi, who holds public meetings every evenings from 5.30 p m.
    ’With Madam Bedi, the Raj Niwas has come alive. Activities begin at 9 a m sharp’ adds a caretaker of the Raj Niwas. ’More often it resembles the house of a popular politician,’ says Rajesh Kumar, an assistant commissioner of police posted in the LG's office.
    Meanwhile, the office has been equipped with hi-tech information systems as well as a round-the-clock control room service. The control room is connected to DDA, MCD, police and other agencies through a wireless system. On an average, 200 such complaints are received and registered regularly in a format called the "Goshwara Complaint Book". In the evening, the same is passed on to the LG and the CM for information and advise.

    The good work does not end here. Of the 200 complaints received in a day, a sample of at least 25 of them are sent for a "test check", a new method adopted by Bedi. In the "test check" method, an inspector visits the field and prepares a feedback note based on the statements of both the complainant and the concerned authority. If the statements of both parties vary, the inspector's report is then referred to higher authorities. ’In this process, we are not only responding to a complaint immediately, but also ensure that field level staff of various agencies do not betray a common man in need,’ said Bedi.
    Besides a few full-time police officers who have climbed on to the Bedi bandwagon on deputation, retired police officers of Bedi's choice have been brought into a newly-constituted office housed in a porta cabin for hearing public litigation cases. These retired officers are working voluntarily for a honorarium to help Bedi. ’It seems Khanna's enthusiasm and Bedi's activism have really stimulated the atmosphere,’ says Prashant Chaturvedi, who came to the Raj Niwas with a water problem in his locality.
    According to Bedi, "Introduction of a feedback system like this is showing results."
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