| Darbhanga district magistrate Narmadeshwar Lal. Picture by Mukesh Kumar Jha |
Residents of Usari village of Kusheshwar Asthan need not trudge their way to the district headquarters to lodge complaints, rather the district magistrate (DM) would come to their doorsteps this Saturday night.
Villagers usually have to walk or cycle around 82km west from Usari to Darbhanga town for administrative work. On the way, they have to cross two tributaries, one each of the Kamala and Kosi rivers.
Lack of approach roads and transport make it difficult for them to even reach the Kusheshwar Asthan block headquarters, 12km from Usari.
The district-level officers accompanying district magistrate Narmadeshwar Lal will put up at Usari middle school for the night after the durbar.
The officials would try to visit as many households as possible in the village and survey the condition of electricity, water pump and roads among other infrastructure.
Villagers are often reluctant to visit the DM’s durbar, because it takes Rs 300 per person and around 12-14 hours for the round trip.
The DM told The Telegraph: “We have decided to hold the janata durbar on Saturday night because we want to ensure maximum public participation and effective redressal of grievances.”
He added: “We do not want to disturb the routine work of local people and officials on weekdays. We opted for such time and the school as venue, as every purpose will be fulfilled.”
“Residents of remote areas find it difficult to come to the janata durbar with their problems. So we planned to listen to their grievances at their doorstep. We expect common problems related to electricity, water, road and housing,” Lal said.
Subdivisional officer of Biroul Jagdish Kumar has been given the responsibility for organising the durbar at the village. Kumar has been trying to ensure maximum public participation.
The local administration is making public announcements in the village, urging residents to raise their problems before the district magistrate. “This is a good opportunity for us to take our problems to officers. They will also realise our plight. We have to see what changes take place after the DM’s durbar,” Ramesh Kumar, a villager, said.