203 held for corruption in Thane last year
A total of 203 people, including policemen and government officials, were arrested for corruption last year. Among them, the highest number of cases, 48, has been registered against police personnel followed by zilla parishad officials (30).
According to anti-corruption bureau (ACB) records, 148 cases have been registered with the Thane unit. “Now people are more alert and approach us to file complaints against corruption,” said an ACB officer.
Seventy per cent of the registered cases are from Thane district.
Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg come under the jurisdiction of Thane ACB.
The police launched a toll-free number (1064) in last year.
“Lodging complaints against corruption has become easy. If a person calls from Thane, the call will be directly connected to Thane ACB control room. If someone calls from Raigad, it will be connected to Raigad ACB office. Many people are coming forward to lodge complaints because of rise in awareness,” said senior officer from ACB department.
Sindhudurg and Palghar have the lowest number of ACB complaints. “A complainant’s name is not disclosed and all tip-offs are kept a secret,” said an ACB officer.
A government official caught taking bribe will be immediately suspended for six months, pending inquiry.
In the last few years the police have been conducting various awareness programmes.
“We hold a vigilance week every year. We launched the helpline number 1064 last year so that corruption-related complaints would be taken up quickly,” said the police.
Hoardings have been put up across Thane city to create awareness among people during vigilance week. Pamphlets are distributed in local trains, buses and autorickshaws. Street plays are staged in public places such as malls and markets to spread awareness among the people.