BANGALORE: A five-year old anti-corruption helpline gets 10 to 12 calls every day, and most callers complain against the BBMP, the Revenue Department, and Sub-Registrar offices. Coalition Against Corruption, a citizen’s initiative, runs a helpline (080-65734444) that empowers victims of corruption with information about the Right to Information Act. Callers seek advice on how to get their work done in government offices without paying bribes.
Geetha, project assistant who receives phone calls from citizens, said, “People are upset with corruption and they need guidance to tackle it. I help them file RTI petitions. Officials of the BBMP, revenue department and the sub-registrar office harass Bangaloreans the most. These three departments top our records”.
“A 65 year-old-man seeking to withdraw his provident fund was harassed for four and a half years. He called us about the grievance. He got his provident fund within a week of filing an RTI petition,” Geetha said.
M K Shankaralinge Gowda, BBMP commissioner, told Express, “It is possible there are more complaints against our officials than against others. Citizens go to our offices more frequently than they would to other departments.” He also maintained that a citizen who gets a driving license won’t visit an RTO office for years, whereas a citizen who visits a municipal ward office will have to keep going there year after year to pay property tax. “Some people complain to the Lokayukta after giving bribes. But I encourage citizens to campaign against corruption in the BBMP,” Gowda added further.