Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pune tops as corruption capital


PUNE: Mumbai may have all the important bureaucratic corridors of the state, but when it comes to corruption among the government ranks, Pune takes the cake. Recent anti-corruption bureau (ACB) statistics show that out of the total ACB operations conducted in the state to nab corrupt babus, Pune range has nabbed the maximum of 63 government officials within the mere four months this year. Nashik comes a distant second with 34 arrests.

Superintendent of police (ACB-Pune range) Sandeep Diwan, who has recently taken charge, told , "The rise in the number of arrests is an indication that common people are showing faith in the workings of the ACB. More and more people are coming forward with complaints. We have also taken serious cognisance of each and every complaint we have received, which is why we are seeing Pune at the top of the list when it comes to taking action against government officials involved in corruption."

The ACB has divided the state in eight ranges — Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur, Amravati, Aurangabad and Nanded. A total of 232 traps laid by the ACB across all the eight ranges, from January 1to April 30 this year. Out of that, 63 were in Pune range, which includes Pune city, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Kolhapur. Even when compared with the other cities, statistics showed that the ACB arrested a maximum of 24 government officials in Pune, followed by Thane with 18 officials, while Mumbai ranked third with the arrest of 11officials.

And, when it comes to the various government offices, the revenue department was found to be the most corrupt. For, the maximum number of government officials arrested while taking bribe was from that department. A senior police official from ACB shared, "Out of the 63 cases we have registered, 22 officials were arrested from the revenue department itself, followed by the police department where 11 personnel were caught red-handed while accepting bribe. Apart from that, there are some officials from other offices like the corporations, zilla parishads, land records offices and so on."

The revenue department, zilla parishads and the respective corporations are the offices where common people are directly connected to by way of getting various permissions for their personal work. In most cases, the government officials have been arrested while accepting bribes from common people for issuing permissions.

The ACB is now planning to conduct awareness drives in a majority of government offices to further encourage common people to report against corrupt officials to the bureau. "Such action against government officials will work as deterrents. If more people file complaints and more action is taken, there will be fear among the corrupt officials that they can be caught anytime. This will help reduce corruption from the system. Therefore, we are now planning a massive awareness campaign to encourage common people to approach us in case they are being asked to pay bribes," Diwan said.


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