Bhubaneswar, Aug. 19: Odisha health minister Damodar Rout has decided to take on the top bureaucracy peeved at its attempts at undermining the authority of its political bosses.
What has got the ministerís goat is a string of policy decisions taken on August 8 by the governing body of the state health and family welfare society headed by the chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik without his approval.
Rout feels that the bureaucrats deliberately bypassed him. While Patnaik is the chairman of the health and family welfare society governing body, which addresses a variety of health related policies and programmes, health secretary Pradeepta Mohapatra is one of its members.
The looming confrontation between Rout and Patnaik is being watched as the latter is generally believed to be the eyes and ears of chief minister Naveen Patnaik in administrative matters.
The top bureaucrat, though keeps his distance from politicians, is capable of digging in his heels when it comes to taking a stand.
Sources said that on August 8, the governing body, among other things, not only approved a budget of Rs 1,077 crore for various health schemes and programmes in the state, but also decided to create a separate directorate for nurses and a separate wing for purchase of medicines.