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Inside Civil Secretariat: Files closed in Jammu still untied; ministers nowhere to be seen

Srinagar, May 25: In the dimly-lit corridors of the Civil Secretariat, steel boxes and wardrobes lie scattered on the floor; uncovered bundles of important file folders gather the dust.
It has been over two weeks since the secretariat, or Durbar, was shifted back to Srinagar, yet several departments have not taken out files from the boxes they carried from Jammu.
To make the matters worse, the stacks of rusty metallic trunks and boxes make it difficult to move in the aisle.
“If this is the condition inside the Civil Secretariat, what will one expect in other government offices? The rusty boxes are giving an ugly look to the Civil Secretariat. Besides, anyone can steal the files lying scattered on the floor,” an official from the Industries and Commerce Department told The Kashmir Monitor.
The public, too, is suffering.
Ghulam Mohammad, a resident of Pampore, said: “An official in the Finance Department told me to visit next week with my problem, as they were yet to untie their files.”
The Civil Secretariat was opened in the summer capital on May 7, after it operated, as is the 150-year-old ritual in the dual-capital state, from Jammu for six months.
However, only a few ministers can be seen available in the secretariat. The office chambers of most of the ministers remain usually locked.
On Tuesday when this reporter visited the Civil Secretariat, only a few ministers were available at the Secretariat.
“Sahab is in Jammu. We don’t know when he will return,” an official outside the official chamber of the Health Minister said.
An official said that the Forest Minister stayed at the Secretariat for only a few days.
“Sahab is not here,” an official in the personal section of Education Minister said.
The non-availability of ministers is troubling the people who needed to see the ministers.
“We visited the Civil Secretariat three times in the last 10 days, but the minister is not available,” Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Budgam, said, waiting along with a group of people outside the Health Minister’s chamber.
“The officials said the minister was in Jammu.”
Deputy Chief Minister, Kavindar Gupta, who is also the Industries and Commerce Minister, said he would look into the matter.