District Collectors used to play a bigger role under Chandrababu Regime. Regular video conferences on all aspects of administration and programme implementation made them busy all the time. Naidu indeed faced criticism for relying more on the bureaucrats than having a closer contact with the people. This is why CM Jagan Reddy has included this as one of the subjects to be reversed as part of his single point agenda to turn Naidu policies upside-down. As a result, there are no long video conferences. But, in their place, the Collectors are being asked to go to the villages and solve people’s problems at the field level directly.
Initially, it was welcomed as a breath of fresh air. As the days passed, the scenario changed dramatically. Jagan Reddy is asking Collectors to spend two weeks per month in villages. They should know problems first hand and solve them on the spot. This has become a big burden for them. Because of Cash Transfer promises, the public are having greater expectations than ever. Moreover, the Collectors are being forced to closely monitor Grama Volunteers who are mostly political activists with no disciplined training. They are also given the burden of making Grama Secretariats a success. Jagan is fast making the District Collectors’ jobs unenviable.