Uttarakhand CM admits system is corrupt

Dehra Dun : It has been only days that Hill Post reported that the bureaucracy of Uttarakhand was the bane of this small mountain state. Now Uttarakhand chief minister, Vijay Bahuguna has voiced concern saying that corrupt and inefficient government machinery and the government had got a list of such officers from party rank and file from the block and district level.

The very fact that the chief minister decided to get a feedback on the working of his government after 14 months in office speaks the concern that he and his other cabinet colleagues have for accountability and transparency.

Now the state Congress Committee has been asked to chalk out a tour plan of the cabinet ministers to various districts to nail such officers.

How effective this will be is a wild guess, but if the past working of the government is any indication, it is very unlikely that the black sheep in the administration and the government will be brought to the book. There have been umpteen cases where files relating to corrupt officers are gathering dust and they rather than being punished have been given prize postings.

What has apparently appalled the chief minister is the fact that the feedback he has received speaks of the poor conditions of the infrastructural facilities and the pitiable condition of roads, water and electric supply and health and education services. The money for improving upon these services have not delivered, as either it has not been spent or silently done away with.

But what the Congress rank and file in the state seems to be asking is why were brick bats hurled at the state vidhan sabha speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal when he recently gave a statement claiming that the rampant corruption prevalent in the government machinery and administration was eating into the very vitals of Uttarakhand.

In fact, they went on to say that rather than the chief minister loyalists coming out against the speaker and terming him a pro-Harish Rawat lobbyists, Vijay Bahuguna should have immediately called Kunjwal and had a one-to-one with him to get the facts straight so that damage control exercise could be taken in the interest of the state and its people.

Fearing that the rampant corruption and prevailing lackadaisical working of the government machinery could have an averse fall out against the Congress party in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the chief minister has assured to take the matter seriously and undertake a complete overhaul of the system.

But the million dollar question is whether the bureaucracy and the government machinery for that matter, try to bring about the changes that the chief minister may desire to improve their working, or will his efforts meet the same fate of his predecessors who were taken for a ride and the rot continued to prevail in the system.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

2 Comments

  • The question I am asking myself is whether Mr Vijay Bahuguna himself is honest and free of corruption. As we know, he was lawyer and high-court judge, both these professions are infested with corrupt personalities. Our Supreme Court itself noted sometime ago that Allahabad High Court judges were prone to favouring their nephew lawyers and called them “uncle judges.” I would not put it past Mr Bahuguna to be still favouring his wide circle of nephews (witness the Uniyal brothers), leading to corruption and deterioration of law and order in the state. If he is unable to provide clean governance, Mr Bahuguna should simple resign and enjoy his retirement.

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