Describing the public response to the anti-corruption helpline as “exceptional”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said nearly 4,000 people called up the hotline within seven hours of it becoming operational on Thursday. The Anti-Corruption Branch has already initiated action after some callers conducted stings on the very first day with help from government advisors.

“The helpline received 3,904 calls between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Of these, only 824 calls could be entertained due to lack of manpower and phone channels. Of the callers, 53 had serious complaints in which there was possibility of conducting a sting. However, 15 of the 53 refused to conduct stings. A total of 38 callers have agreed to do the sting. While I would not like to divulge the numbers, some stings have already been done,” Mr. Kejriwal told reporters.

(PTI quoting AAP sources said the helpline got about 4,500 calls till Thursday evening.)

Thanking the residents of Delhi for conducting sting operations “in a professional manner”, the Chief Minister said: “I have got feedbacks from the anti-corruption department that the stings by the residents are very clean. The Anti-Corruption Branch has already initiated action in some cases.”

A government official said at least “two of the callers who conducted stings have already submitted the audio recordings to the ACB along with their complaints”. “The complaints are being examined to decide further course of action as per law,” the official said.

Advisors, phone channels to be doubled

Mr. Kejriwal said the number of advisors and phone channels at the call centre would be doubled from Friday in view of the number of calls received. “We started with 10 seats. But after receiving over a hundred calls within an hour, the number was increased to 15 and the channels to 30. From Friday, there will be 30 seats and 60 channels in order to receive the maximum possible calls,” he said.

The Chief Minister also said a simple four-digit helpline number would be launched by Friday evening to facilitate easy access to the hotline.

He also categorically refused details on the location of the call centre stating that “it might jeopardise the initiative as the corrupt officials might try to approach those dealing with the complaints in an attempt to influence them”.

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