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'Anonymity is a must'

Shailesh GandhiThe name of the complainant should not be revealed and, even though the law doesn’t mention this specifically, anonymity should be maintained. Citizens complain, among other things, about illegal construction, encroachment and illegal slums to the BMC. But, instead of thanking the complainants, the civic body is planning to make their name public, so that all the gundas and builders know whom to target.

I was shocked to read the advertisement, which said complaints made by citizens need to be accompanied by proof of education, occupation and identity. Shouldn’t the BMC be more concerned about finding out whether the complaint has merit, and acting on it if it does? What will it do knowing about the complainant’s degrees, or lack thereof, or what he does for a living?

Nearly 98% of all complaints are made because the BMC does not do its job. They are about garbage not being lifted or potholes left open other things like that.

Doesn’t the BMC realise that the complainants are actually helping it?

It is ridiculous that the proposal is actually going to be discussed in a corporation meeting. Just the thought of elected representatives even mulling such a proposal is obnoxious. Through the proposal, the BMC seems to be saying, ‘Look, illegal activities should go on. Don’t bother us’.

Even if 2-5% of complaints are false or made with a vested interest in mind, the BMC’s chosen method to counter those few cannot be safeguarding all illegal activities by intimidating citizens and keeping them from filing complaints. The elected representatives who come up with such ideas should be banished. This needs to be opposed by everyone.

Shailesh Gandhi is a former Central Information Commissioner (As told to Neha Tripathi)

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