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YSR wanted choppers to reach out to the masses

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
September 03, 2009 03:38 IST
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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was embarking upon another major public contact program of  "Rachabanda" (Village square) to have a better understanding of the situation at the grass root level when his helicopter went missing on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister was on his way to Anupally village in Chittoor district for a surprise check of the implementation of various welfare policies and programs of his government when the helicopter went missing over Kurnool district.

He had announced the ambitious program of surprise visits across the state in month of June and had told the collector to make it a genuinely surprise visit as he would reveal the name of the village only four hours before leaving Hyderabad only to give time to the officials to make proper security arrangements.

Accordingly, he decided to visit Anupally village at around 5 am on Wednesday. Before leaving his official Dr Reddy told mediapersons that the idea behind his program was to make the administration more accountable and improve it's functioning.

The CM said that if he reveals the name of the village he was going to visit, it will give time to the officials to sweep their shortcomings under the carpet. "The surprise visits will help me in getting closer to the people and have a better understanding of their problems and in finding out whether the benefits of the government schemes were reaching them or not," he said.

"I will directly meet the people and find out whether the public distribution system was working properly or not?  I will also ask the people whether they were facing any problems due to the current drought in the state. I will enquire whether the people had ration cards and whether the eligible people were getting pension or not?" he said.

He said that it was not physically possible for him to go to all the 25,000 odd villages in the state but every month he will cover 2 to 3 villages.

Rajasekhara Reddy had also said that to make every part of the state accessible to him by a helicopter, a helipad will be built in each of the 1100 mandals across the state.

Ironically, the helicopter, which he wanted to use as a vehicle to get closer to the rural masses, landed him in a serious danger.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad