Sunday, March 29, 2009

Corruption everywhere

True, the title of this post is very much true to best of my experience with various govt departments.

In most of the offices of state government,the normal work flow is not executed most of the time. there are alternative work flows that always work and at the end they pretend to be normal work flows/processes.

Impossible is nothing, it holds good for corruption. If you can pay, you can get most of the things in the world done:-).

I have many experiences in this regard, everyone looked at my face when I have applied for NOC at jayanagar RTA office in bangalore few years before. It is almost the case with every RTA office that people pay around 700 to 1000/- to get petty things done. So when I went on my own, they were surprised. But then with less than 100/- I got my NOC done (couple of trips to deputy commissioner office and had no problem there :-)). Interestingly couple of agents who were following me through out the process, were bargaining with me, they initially demanded 1000/- but when I applied on my own, the rate came down to 300/- :-).

My marriage certificate, this was another terrible incident. it was at Nagarkurnool sub registrar office. The sub registrar who was a muslim (he was not good at Telugu, nothing to do with his religion such as) and was like a dummy guy in the office. The clerks who do the work there are too demanding. They cite silly reasons like they do not have the stamp (its really silly isn't it, because govt office are supposed to have enough of them :-) ). We were forced to pay him 300 or so. That clerk was not even aware of the rules, he demanded a notary letter, and then lawyers demanded around 500/- just for one 20/- stamp paper and typing a template in there which is hardly 5 min. job. Just wonder about how bad things are!. A clerk demanding a paper which is not at all required and a lawyer charging 500/- for 5 to 10 min work in a remote town called Nagarkurnool. Think of the poor villagers who visit them for any legal support, Lawyers mostly do not have a kind heart in towns at least. :-(. After knowing all the stuff, I paid bribe at the office and hefty amount to lawyer, just because I had fully family (including my father, in-laws) and you do not want to take adventures by straining your family isn't it?

Lawyers are terrible, they never let you know the facts and extract money from you for nothing in most of the cases. This is true for any petty case that happens at gully level. they really do not do any work other than submitting some paper in court. it is no way similar to movies(where lawyers do lot of stuff to prove something in court).

Then APCPDCL, My self and my neighbour had a peculiar problem. after installing meters we didn't get bills for around 7 months. And then it was a single bill for all these months(which means higher tariff band and more than double the actual amount you need to pay )Ideally it should take max of 2 months for first bill.

The way I solved it and my neighbour solved it are different. I fought with Rajendra nagar A.E and raised an RTI request at their head office for similar incidents. It was done. They reduced my bill amount.

My neighbour paid the JLM (Junior Line man), and you know what, they destroyed the meters and he got new ones. what my neighbour paid is just a part of what he ideally has to pay. JLM got the bribe and then my neighbour got reprieve from paying big amount. At the end APCPDCL lost few thousand rupees. But who cares?

You want water connection? electricity connection or want property tax assessment for your new house or you want to change your name in your property tax note etc, common man lands up paying hefty amounts to what ideally is a simple work and couple of visits to the near by offices will do.

Every one of us are part of this corruption. The moment govt employees see lot of extra income, they stop doing normal work. You go to any office and I bet you they never process your request/file on time. If you do not want to pay bribe you have to strain yourself. But then think of proper alternative. If every one of us start visiting offices and avoid middlemen/bribe, will they escape from work? they will work for sure. But as long as most of the people pay bribe and few people who want to avoid bribes etc will have problems for ever.

The recent one being Rajiv Vidya Mission. I have been trying to construct an additional class room for a primary school near mehdipatnam. You can see another post on my blog which talks of that.

The project officer at RVM office, gave oral instructions, they withhold papers with them like estimates/plan and we get oral instructions to start work. He even called a constractor and told him, One Mr. Harinath Reddy will call you and do his work :-).

Later,Contractor was telling me how the RVM works, he was telling me that normal flow never works at RVM office. around 10 to 15 % of the total amount goes as bribe to employees in the RVM office. Also he says there are charity organizations(or to put it straight the people who handle stuff with RVM office) who make property out of the deals with RVM. My work is on hold as of now.

Surprising, charity for profit :-).

Well, there are other incidents as well but let me wrap up here.

System works wonderfully if you make corruption legal, go into consultant mode, employee only few regulars and all other consultants. pay your employees decent amounts. A gazetted officer,a teacher and doctor must get similar salaries. We need a balance of all professions. Let people get trained on every profession and let quality come into govt offices. Increase the salaries, implement reservations with a proper quality check. Salary hikes must be associated with the performance. Govt need to build proper systems to monitor quality of the work done by each office and employee and provide salary hikes based on performance. Make things straight forward let everyone know what the systems/processes we have and let people involve into govt activities and serve them better, remove middlemen by removing obstacles/hurdles in the normal work process, have enough escalation mechanisms where in a suffering citizen can raise complaint and his case be heard.


Adarsh said...

agree with u.. corruption is the biggest problem.. one of the reasons behind that is ppl's desire to get things done faster and easier..

Kista said...

as long as these old politicians are elected...we would see no change in the system.

and atleast our generation should elefct right candiadates like Jaya prakash Narayan and we should change the face of india

karnati reddy said...

Hi Harinath,
even I faced similar kind of problem for my sister's marriage certificate,as I am a resident of Nagarkurnool,they didn't ask me any bribe there, instead they asked me to go Dist registrar office,there they didn't say anything for 3 hours, finally one attender came to the place where I was waiting n told me"pedda saruki avi kavalanta, atailthe jaldi pani ithadi",it really irritated me, I went to his chamber and asked him,he repeated the same,I started arguing, and finally told him that I am not going give him a single paisa, If I don't get that with in 10-15 days,will see you in court,surprisingly we received that certificate on 11th day.
Keep fighting mate..