News : Anti-graft Helpline Remains Lifeless Despite Complaints
Hyderbad, India, April 13, 2015 -- Do you remember the anti-graft helpline number launched by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in January? Certainly, it is still in the memory of some 1,500 callers who ring up the 104 Aarogyasri Seva Kendram everyday to lodge their grievances.
Ironically, however, for the State government and its officials, it is a long forgotten chapter. They just "moved on" as is the case with other government affairs. Ever since its launch on January 11, the 200-odd 104 helpline number agents kept recording the complaints from across the state and it just ended there.
The complaints reaching the departments followed by an enquiry by officials concerned is just a myth. At the call centre, the complaints are categorised as grievances and corruption-related charges. As the grievances stack up at 104 Aarogyasri Seva Kendram, left unattended to, the bribery complaints routed to the Anti-Corruption Bureau too meet with the same fate owing to staff crunch.
According to the helpline operators, they had received 72,931 complaints (till April 1) from the time the 24x7 helpline number came into existence on January 11. Of which, 68,981 were categorised as grievances and 3,950 as corruption-related complaints and they were routed to the ACB on a weekly basis. It was said that nodal officers would be appointed by the State government in each department to pursue complaints received on the helpline number seriously. However, the situation is clearly not encouraging.
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"We are ready with complaints received against each department. Once the government identifies nodal officer in each department to pursue these complaints, we will offer them these details," said general manager of 104 Aarogyasri Seva Kendram K Shashi Sri.
The idea of setting up a "core team" in the ACB to attend to these complaints too remained a non-starter. Follow up action on these complaints turned out to be an illusion.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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