The Rural Works Department(RWD) in Bihar has issued a fresh instruction to executive engineers and officials to compulsorily invite elected representatives to state government functions, including events such as foundation-laying ceremonies and other inaugural events. If they fail to do so, departmental action will be taken against them.
A circular to this effect was released recently after BJP MLA Nitish Mishra had, in the last winter session of the Assembly, alleged that legislators were not invited in such programs.
"Disciplinary departmental action will be initiated against officers who fail to abide by this order," it said.
The December 7 circular about organising state government programmes and functions was issued by Pankaj Kumar Pal, Secretary, RWD.
"Inaugurations or foundation-laying ceremonies of all programmes have to be compulsorily done in the physical presence of elected representatives and members of the Legislative Council," the order said.
All executive engineers of the department have also been issued instructions to send a list of those projects that have not been completed within the stipulated time in their respective areas to the department at the earliest.
Mishra informed the house that several projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Mukhya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojana were inaugurated without inviting local elected representatives, especially MLAs, in rural areas.
"Various projects were recently launched by the state RWA in several areas without informing the elected representatives," he had said.
Commenting on the circular, Bihar Rural Development Minister Jayant Raj told PTI, "We will take strict disciplinary action against officials who fail to follow this order. All elected representatives and MLCs must be invited for government functions. But it has been observed that this instruction is not being followed properly in certain areas."
He said the government has asked all officials concerned to ensure that the norms are followed.
"It is also compulsory to include names of government functionaries, including ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs on foundation stones and inaugural plaques," the minister said.