HYDERABAD: Rangaiah, a resident of Gandhinagar, reached the GHMC office in Quthbullapur at around 11:25 am on Monday. Before he reached the place, being on the wrong side of 60, he was terrified of the prospect of having to wade through the crowd to submit the application form for his old-age pension. Whenever he had been to the office, he had seen that officials were rarely there and ones that were present were too busy to tend to him. He didn’t think he would get to meet an official today either.
But surprisingly, Rangaiah did indeed get to talk to an official. “I have been visiting the GHMC office for over five months. I had all the necessary documents needed for my pension application but they would keep telling me to come back later,” he said. “But today, I went to room no. 7 on the ground floor and they agreed to do my work. And nobody even asked me for a mamool!” Rangaiah adds, seeming genuinely surprised.
This massive change, it appears, is the direct result of a recent raid by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials on GHMC staff and the subsequent arrest of Tax Inspector Manzoor Ahmed. So, unlike usual days, almost all officials working in the office occupied their seats on Monday.
Manzoor was under vigil
Investigation officers, who recently arrested Quthbullapur GHMC Tax Inspector Manzoor Ahmed for accepting a bribe from a doctor to reduce his property tax, questioned him to ascertain his modus operandi. Ahmed is reported to have misused his official power by not increasing property tax of some persons in return for kickbacks.
It is learnt that the Anti Corruption Bureau has been keeping a close vigil on Ahmed for a while now. The agency has produced the accused before the court and have made preliminary enquiries in connection with corruption by other employees in the office. It is learnt that the staff would demand mamool (bribe) from elderly people in order to accept their pension application forms and process them. Taking serious note of the corruption there, Anti Corruption Bureau officials said that they would operate around-the-clock toll-free control room using which denizens of the city could lodge their complaints. The control room can be reached at 104.