ACB gets into expansion mode after pat from government

It will help us take the fight against graft to the next level, says top official

Impressed by the ‘good work’ being done by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), the State government has given permission for its expansion and accordingly, plans are afoot to upgrade the institution in a big way.

The ACB has been conducting raids even before, but in the last two years it has gone beyond the middle-rung officers to arrest the ones who are at the helm of affairs.

The list is big and it includes officials such as Additional Chief Urban Planner of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) Pasuparthi Pradeep Kumar, AP Town and Country Planning Director G.V. Raghu, Additional Excise Commissioner K.L. Bhaskar, Engineer-in-Chief of Public Health and Municipal Engineering Pammu Panduranga Rao and Chief Engineer of Roads and Buidings (Andhra Pradesh) M. Gangadharam.

Sources in the ACB estimate the wealth accumulated by the officers at over ₹2000 crore.

“To begin with, we will be doubling our force in the next couple of years in phases,” said Additional Director General of ACB R.P. Thakur.

Interacting with The Hindu here, Mr. Thakur said, “We have a current sanctioned strength of 243 and we have been sanctioned another 264 men — one joint director, seven additional SPs, nine DSPs, 34 inspectors, 43 SIs, 11 ASIs, 49 head constables, 90 constables and 20 constable drivers. ”

Three categories

Expanding its reach, the ACB has divided the State into three categories.

While cities such as Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Guntur have been categorised as ‘A’, Kurnool, Anantapur, Eluru and Nellore have been categorised as ‘B’ and others such as Kadapa, Ongole, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam have been placed under ‘C’ category.

“The force will be distributed based on the category status. ‘A’ category station will have one Additional SP, two DSPs, six inspectors, three ASIs, five HCs, 18 PCs and two Armed Reserve constables,” said Mr. Thakur.

The ACB will have one new office each in all the districts.

New offices

“The new offices have already been inaugurated in Tirupati, Eluru, Visakhapatnam, Nellore, Vizianagaram, Kurnool and Rajahmundry, and the others will be done by the year-end,” he said.

To speed up trial, the number of special ACB courts has been increased from two to five. “We are also upgrading technically to speed up the investigation. Certain equipment is being added to improve the investigation process,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 6:36:59 AM |

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