Whatever be their failings, the MCGM cannot be faulted for inconsistency, at least where corruption levels are concerned. The latest information from the Anti Corruption Bureau says that MCGM is the most corrupt government organization. And while the report has become a major embarrassment for the civic body, Mumbaikars are not at all surprised. They might falter at most civic jobs that daily affect your life, they might be inconsistent in matters that can better your city and they might be failing your expectations for a clean Mumbai, green Mumbai and better Mumbai but they have not made any mistakes, faltered or been inconsistent at least where corruption levels are concerned. According to the most recent information from the Anti-Corruption Bureau, MCGM has topped the corruption charts this time; thereby becoming the most government organization. Last year alone the ACB registered as many as 14 cases against MCGM and 23 arrests made against officials caught accepting bribes in the last one year. Though officials at all levels, including the rank of deputy municipal commissioner, have been caught indulging in corruption, statistics show corrupt practices are more prevalent among engineers, especially Class III junior engineers in the MCGM’s building and factory department. Mumbaikars are not surprised that MCGM is the most corrupt government organization. Accepting corruption in MCGM, Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak says that they are glad the ACB is successfully removing the black sheep from the civic body. Who doesn’t know that politics is the feeding ground of corruption? May be that’s why, despite knowing for a fact that corruption is deep rooted in the civic corporation, MCGM public representatives raise fingers at the work of the Anti Corruption Bureau and make vague reasons for MCGM attaining the top slot for corruption. However unlike her colleague, MCGM Mayor Dr. Shubha Raul did not try to cover up that there isn’t corruption but spoke about it and how it can be arrested. Sources informed NMTV News that many more cases would have been registered with MCGM had corrupt officials not become savvy about how and when to accept bribes. The officers have become so cautious that they demand bribes either through indirect channels or through a common friend, and if they are particularly suspicious, they don’t accept the money. Ask the Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak about this, and he has an advice for the ACB. The most unfortunate aspect, according to the ACB however remains that most citizens believe the system works only by greasing palms. Corruption would continue unless the common man does not shrug off his ‘chalta hai’ attitude. Something that Mayor Dr. Shubha Raul reiterates. Corruption in India is a consequence of the connection between politics, bureaucracy and crime. It is ingrained in the entire social fabric of the system. And this cannot be changed unless the common man fights corruption, which starts with reporting cases of corruption in one own locality’s civic corporation. Let’s not forget – apathetic people get a corrupt government. India has slipped 13 places on the global transparency index. And government offices like the MCGM have been major contributors for alarming rise in corruption levels. People in positions of power are simply not accountable to the public. Corruption is rampant everywhere and the growth of our economy – and its liberalization – has not killed corruption. On the contrary it has acquired even more menacing proportions. Unless earnest attempts are made to make MCGM to function more transparently and the leadership and bureaucracy vow zero tolerance for corruption – MCGM would continue to hold the dubious distinction of being the most corrupt government organization. Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
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