Mumbai among least corrupt cities in Maharashtra finds ACB report
ACB report on corruption in Maharashtra this year puts Maximum City at the bottom, while Pune tops the list of graft cases; highest number of cases reported against the revenue department
The verdict is out. While the Maximum City is home to the headquarters of almost all government organisations in the country, it has also reported the least number of corruption cases. According to a report by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for 2017, among eight state divisions, Mumbai ranks the lowest when it comes to cases of corruption or amassing disproportionate assets.
While Pune has topped the list with 188 cases of corruption, Mumbai has reported only 46 cases. As per data revealed, Nashik (124) and Nagpur (121) follow Pune in terms of graft cases reported till December 27, this year. Incidentally, Mumbai has remained at the bottom of this list since 2013.
The ACB manages a directory of action taken against corrupt officials in the state. The bureau has expanded its functioning by not just accepting written complaints, but also inviting complaints against government officials on its website. The ACB also launched an app in order reach out to more citizens.
As per this year's report, 860 bribery cases were filed in the state and the maximum cases were reported from the revenue department (203). The police department (165), panchayat committee (94), municipal corporations (65) and the Education Department (33) followed the revenue department.
Significantly, 19 cases of corruption were filed against officials of the richest civic body in the country, the BMC, which was followed by the Mumbai Police (5), law and judiciary (3) and the BEST (2).
Even as city government officials heave a sigh of relief, ACB officers aren't too convinced with the results. Former DGP Praveen Dixit said, "Unlike people in the districts or in villages, who don't tolerate corruption, Mumbaikars don't bother to reach out to the authorities and raise voice against it. Despite numerous attempts by the ACB to reach out to citizens, not many Mumbaikars come forward to file complaints against government officials. People in this city prefer getting their work by any means instead of taking on 'the hassle' of complaining to the authorities. For Mumbaikars, complaining is a waste of time, money and energy. We had hoped that the mobile app would attract more complaints, but it hasn't, so far."
Dixit, however, admits that Mumbai's low ranking may also be attributed to fear of higher authorities among government officials. "Every government department is monitored by a chain of higher officials. It is likely to ensure lesser corruption among subordinates in the department. So, the statistics may not be entirely untrue."
RTI activist Anil Galgali said, "The low numbers may be attributed to the fact that action on graft cases take a lot of time. For instance, action against a traffic cop accepting bribery is urgently handled, but investigations in disproportionate asset cases require a lot more time, sometimes, years. If the government wants a corruption-free city, they must encourage more citizens to report corruption in its offices. The state government must display zero tolerance for graft by expediting such cases."
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