For the residents of Raigunj in North Dinajpur, it was not unusual to see District Magistrate Arvind Kumar Meena walk the 250-meter distance from his residence to office on Wednesday. However, it came as a surprise when many of Meena’s colleagues too were seen walking to work instead of using government vehicles.
In a “first-of-its-kind initiative”, the North Dinajpur district administration has decided to observe one day each week as “no vehicles day” as part of an austerity drive. The move comes after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee recently issued directives calling for cost-cutting. “We are inspired by the chief minister and her initiatives. Most of the offices and quarters of district officials are within a 2-km radius in Raigunj. So, we decided to shun our government vehicles one day every week so that fuel expenses are reduced.,” Meena said.
“This decision is entirely voluntary on our part and we have not been given any directive by the state government to do so. We are doing our bit in the small way we can. There are around 25 vehicles in the DM office, which will stay in their garages for one day every week,” he added. Raiganj MLA Mohit Sengupta welcomed the move and urged top state government officials to take such initiatives for reduction of government expenses.
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