People do not want adventure, they want action. Helpline number should help them register a complaint, not impart them sting operation tips. Arvind Kejriwal should take cue from Narendra Modi and Raman Singh.
Nearly ten days after he was sworn in as Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal fulfilled another of his promise made from the dias of his oath ceremony stage. He has announced a helpline to trap corrupt government employees.
Speaking to the media on Wednesday evening, Kejriwal said that anyone who is asked to pay a bribe by any official should make a complaint on (011) 2735 7169. The helpline will work from 8am to 10pm.
“Every citizen is now an anti-corruption inspector (in Delhi),” he said. “The purpose is to create fear in the minds of every corrupt individual,” he added.
What is more interesting is that the helpline number will “suggest ways” to complainants on how to catch bribe takers red handed.
Once the details of the complainant is taken down, the anti-corruption wing of the Delhi administration will explain how to do a sting operation vis-a-vis the corrupt using the recording device of one’s mobile phone.
“Every citizen will be anti-corruption inspector. We will ask people to record anyone who asks for a bribe,” Kejriwal said.
It should be noted that the vigilance department, which will follow up on the complaints received, has only 11 inspectors presently as opposed to the sanctioned strength of 30 inspectors. Kejriwal had told The Hindu on Tuesday that the Delhi Police Commissioner had assured the government that eight more inspectors will be assigned to the Department in two days.
An Assistant Commissioner of Police and seven inspectors have already been posted with the Anti-Corruption Branch, which is presently investigating 165 cases.
The government has also prepared a list of volunteers who will help with this helpline number. They will be trained by experts on how to collate, segregate and channelise the grievances to the competent authority in various departments. They will also assist the complainants in laying traps for government officials who demand bribes.
However, Kejriwal seems to be running on the concept of reality TV again here. What people of Delhi would have appreciated is a “real” helpline number where they could have lodged a complaint against those who demanded bribe.
In fact he himself accepted that the number was a “helpline” number and not a “comlaint” filing number.
“The idea is to inject fear among bribe seekers,” Kejriwal said, “Now an officer demanding bribe won’t know if you are recording him on your mobile phone or not.”
People who dare to take against such corrupt people usually contain proof for the credibility of their complaint. They can file an FIR regarding their case wherever they want in any Thana of Delhi. Helpline is for those who seek anonymity.
Even if not, Delhi people would have liked to have officers act on their complaint rather than learning sting-operation tips from the government. People do not want adventure, they want action.
The citizen’s charter, which is already in place in Delhi, is a potent act in the hands of the Kejriwal government as it removes the loopholes thus averting any situation where a government official can ask for bribe. Along with this helpline umber, he could have strengthened and kept a check on this act for getting people smooth services.
Maybe Kejriwal should take cue from Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi who has an anti-corruption helpline (tollfree) number running in his state from past nine years and which actually resgisters complaint. In fact Chhatisgarh cheif minister Raman Singh would not be a bad option to take cue from who launched an anti-corruption helpline in his state just two days ago.
-with inputs from IANS