News : Anti-corruption Helpline Receives Health Grievances
Hyderabad, India, Nov 11, 2016 -- Even as a toll-free anti-corruption helpline number announced by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao last year has been relegated to receiving Aarogyasri and other health related grievances and queries, another number, 1064, managed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), has remained unpublicised by the government.
KCR had, at a meeting in Warangal last January, announced the toll-free number, 040-23454071, to take complaints related to corruption with a promise that each of these would be looked into and action taken. However, with inaction on the part of the government on complaints received initially, the number of complaints fell to two to three a day now, from about 2,500 on the first day the number was launched.
Right now, the number is primarily being used for complaints and grievances related to 104 health services and Aarogyasri Healthcare Trust such as feedback on Aarogyasri, payments, hospitals providing Aarogyasri services, 108 ambulance services and counselling on health issues.
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"Of the 4,000 to 4,500 complaints that we receive per day on the 30 lines at the call centre, only two or three are on issues of corruption and such complaints are being forwarded to the departments concerned for action," Aarogyasri Trust chief executive officer M Chandrasekhar told TOI. "After that, we did not receive any feedback on action taken on such complaints," he added.
Four days after the call centre was set up at the Aarogyasri Health Care Trust office in Koti, ACB director general AK Khan visited it and inquired about the number and nature of complaints. Official sources said that 10,700 complaints were received in the first four days with nearly 2,500 calls on graft in government departments in the first 24 hours. The government had then said that it would also launch an SMS facility on the same number and try to provide an e-mail ID for complaints.
Soon after, the ACB chose to use its own toll-free number of 1064 for receiving corruption-related complaints but the new number was not publicised as widely as the first number. Explaining why little action was taken on complaints received so far, a senior ACB official said, "Many of the complaints were not processed due to lack of evidence."
"It appears that the state government is not serious about eliminating corruption in government offices. KCR has not reviewed the complaints received at the toll-free number so far," S Chandrasekhar, founder of Anti-Corruption Enforcement Forum, said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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