|Employees at work at the new secretariat on Monday.
Picture by Deepak Kumar
The corridors of the state secretariat were abuzz on Monday after a 10-day interval as government employees returned to work after the break for Durga Puja, Dussehra and Id-ul Zuha.
Officers and employees had last come to work on October 19. On Monday, they returned to the grind: files that had piled up when they were away were being looked into; work was being cleared.
The Telegraph reached the education department at the new secretariat around 3.45pm to find employees engaged in diligent work. Their counterparts in the mines and geology and minor irrigation departments — which reportedly have less work — were also not idle.
The speed of work, however, was slow, admitted employees. They claimed that it would take them a few days to shake off the shackles of inertia that was pervasive after the long break.
“When one is in office, one has to work. But the inertia because of the long break would last for a day or two before we resume working at full speed,” a government employee, who did not want to be named, said.
A colleague of his in the education department, who also wanted to remain anonymous, said work had piled up during the break. “Rarely do we get such a long break of 10 days at once. A lot of the pending work had been cleared before the vacation. In spite of that, work has piled up,” he said.
Employees attacking piles of files with gusto was a common site at other departments in the old secretariat, Vishveshwaraiya Bhavan, Sinchai Bhavan and other government offices.
Mahesh Kumar, a Grade III employee of the energy department, said: “There is plenty of pending work which has to be cleared in a short span of time. I have started working hard right from this morning (Monday). I did not even get time for lunch. I am still working.”
The re-opening of government offices, however, did not have a significant impact on banks on Monday. There were no crowds at the branches of various financial institutions.
“Our branches were not overcrowded on Monday. There are many reasons for this. After Dussehra, most of the banks were open on October 22, October 25 and October 26. The salary of government employees has also been disbursed,” said State Bank of India assistant general manager (public relations) Umesh Mishra.
He added: “Also, the improvement in technology and services like ATM and Internet banking has ensured that customers do not need to come to the branches to get their work done.”