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Uttarakhand CM prunes expenses

June 07, 2007 16:50 IST

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Bhuwan Chandra Khanduri's decision including that to gunners drawn from the ranks of the Uttarkhand Police assigned to VIPs and VVIPs and streamline distribution of funds from the CM's funds have gone well with the people of the state.

The previous Congress government had been quite liberal in assigning the security personnel and also downsized the army of government lawyers from 45 to 15, drastically reducing the Rs 2 crore annual burden on the exchequer.

The new Chief Minister has refused Z-plus security and restricted his fleet of vehicles to a bare minimum of two cars, a move that has won him appreciation.

"I am taking only those steps that are good for Uttarakhand," says Khanduri.

Recently, he put a spanner on the foreign jaunts of IAS officers and other government officials as part of his economy drive.

Khanduri has also tried to record of sorts by undertaking whirlwind tours of the hill state covering all but one district in a short span of less than two months.

"People are narrating their problems. We try to solve their problems as early as possible," said Khanduri.

In yet another major step, Khanduri has now ordered that the chief minister's discretionary fund would not be given unless it is being recommended by a district magistrate.

Khanduri's predecessor N D Tiwari had come under fire for being liberal in distributing money through the fund. The Opposition however, likes to differ.

The main opposition Congress said it has not seen a single step being taken by Khanduri which was good for the state.

"We will welcome all those steps which are good for our state. But at the moment, we have not seen any change," said state Congress spokesman Surendra Kumar.

Reign in land mafia by toughening the existing land purchase laws.

Now onward, no individual can buy more than 250 sq meter of land for constructing a house in the state.

Khanduri has also withdrawn 300 gunners, drawn from the ranks of the Uttarakhand police assigned to VIPs and VVIPs all over the country, the previous Congress government had been quite liberal in assigning security personnel to all and sundry.

The new chief minister has also downsized the army of government lawyers from 45 to 15, drastically reducing the Rs 2 crore annual burden on the exchequer.

He has refused Z-plus category security and restricted his fleet of vehicles to a bare minimum of two cars.

Khanduri's cost-cutting has gone well with the common people.

"The steps being taken by Khanduri should have been taken much earlier. Nevertheless, it is better we save our exchequer for development purposes," said Giridhar Sharma, who runs a travel agency.

Deepti Saxena in Dehra Dun
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