Coalition formed to tackle graft

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: To promote good governance and tackle corruption in government departments and agencies, five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have come together and formed a `Coalition Against Corruption' (CAC).

The Public Affairs Centre (PAC), which is heading the coalition has set up a helpline - 4110 5161 - at its office in Koramangala for aggrieved people to call up and lodge complaints of corruption. The CAC will forward the complaints to the agencies concerned for remedial action and also try to bring "social and moral" pressure on the agencies to take suitable action against corrupt officials.

Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP), Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Bangalore city police, Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd., departments of Transport, Revenue, Health and Stamps and Registration will be covered by CAC. It will also address specific instances of corruption reported by affected citizens in other departments and agencies.

Speaking at the launch of coalition, PAC Director A. Ravindra, who is also a former Chief Secretary, said these agencies had agreed to set up nodal officers in their organisations to investigate the forwarded complaints and take suitable action.

Citizens who faced demands for bribes/illegal gratification could approach CAC and register their complaints on a specified format in person, online or through the helpline. "The complaint should be lodged by the affected person only and after registering it on phone, the person should come to the PAC office and sign the form. This is to ensure that only genuine and specific complaints are registered," he said.

Stressing that this was the "first systematic effort" to tackle corruption, Dr. Ravindra also invited citizens from different walks of life to become "friends of CAC."

"These friends can support and promote the cause of CAC at various fora and also motivate people to fight corruption," he said.

The former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachalaiah, who launched CAC, lauded the initiative and hoped it would transform into a movement soon.

PAC Chairman Samuel Paul appealed to the Government to ensure that the State got a "clean and new image" by the time Bangalore was changed to "Bengalooru." "A new name definitely deserves a clean image so that we can call it `corruption-free Bengalooru,'" he said.

CAC comprises PAC, Swabhimana, Association for Voluntary Action and Services (AVAS), Consumer Rights Education and Awareness Trust (CREAT) and Consumer Care Society.

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