Uttarakhandis hope for Modi’s corruption free India drive to start from state

Dehra Dun : There is a lot of excitement here in the capital city of Uttarakhand, vis-à-vis, prime minister Narendra Modi’s recent speech at Kaithal in Haryana, wherein he said that his government will take tough measures to eliminate the menace of corruption “which had become more dangerous than cancer” in the country.

And as hands go up in fervent prayer and hope that the Prime Minister starts from this small hill state, which has become the epitome of corruption, even surpassing Bihar at its notorious worst some years back, the aam aadmi is fighting, albeit in a futile manner, without any relief in sight, as he has to cough out hard earned money at every step to appease the babudom.

India_against_corruptionWhy blame the aam addmi for pointing fingers at the babudom of the state which neither moves nor makes files move without a reason (the reason being well known), when a minister in the state government has recently minced no words to say that the  government should make serious efforts at plugging the leakage of the crores of rupees that is spent in the name of development.

Reacting to the decision taken by the chief minister two days ago about no more foreign jaunts for highly placed babus and ministers, as it was just a waste of money and nothing worthwhile was achieved by the state or its people from the number of foreign trips, agriculture minister Harak Singh Rawat said that stopping foreign jaunts alone would not be enough.

“Stopping the ministers or officers from going on foreign trip will not benefit the state in any way. At most the state government will save five or ten crore rupees. But the need of the hour is to stop the corruption that Rajiv Gandhi talked of. The crores of rupees that are being siphoned off as commission from the developmental works needs to be plugged”, he added.

Though union minister of transport and highways recently admitted at Pune that systems like the Regional Transport Offices (RTO) are just source of harassment to citizens, where money rules the roost and needs to be abolished, the aam aadmi here only wishes that Modi or some of his official visits the RTO office in the city and witness the state of affairs.

The office is completely in the grip of touts and most of the staff seems to be in a hand-in-glove operation with them. Despite tall claims that things are being done on-line, the fact is that unnecessary demands of paperwork, some of which the aam aadmi cannot fulfill are made at the counters, forcing the hapless person to go to the mercy of the touts, who take more than their pound of flesh.

May it be the state Secretariat, right under the nose of the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues where black sheep (and there are a number of them) are making hay, or the District Supply Officer’s office to, you name the department, it appears that Harak Singh Rawat, being a minister, has not had to go to the offices of various departments for getting a work done which is perhaps why he is only aware of the happenings at high places.

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.

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