Govt re-launches corruption helpline, ropes in volunteers

  • Prawesh Lama, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 24, 2015 00:56 IST

The AAP government in Delhi has re-started the anti-corruption helpline, a little more than a month after coming back to power in the Capital, sources told Hindustan Times.

They added that an official declaration in this regard will only come by Wednesday.

The helpline number 1031 was re-started on Monday afternoon from an office in Subhash Place, near Rohini, by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s team of ‘private volunteers.’ A dedicated helpline for lodging complaints against corruption was one of the priorities mentioned in the AAP’s manifesto in the two previous assembly elections.

Last month, in his oath ceremony, Kejriwal had promised to restore the helpline to serve as a strong tool to fight corruption. This helpline number was launched during the AAP government’s 49-day rule in the city last year. It was closed, a few months after Kejriwal’s resignation in February last year.

In mid-2014, the number was then merged with the other contact numbers of the Anti- Corruption Branch — Delhi government’s anti-graft arm. The calls received were being attended by officers at the ACB till a few days ago, when the connection to this number was snapped abruptly. Some officials who regularly took calls suspected a technical fault. It was only on Monday that they learnt that the helpline control room had been shifted to a building in Subhash Place, which now works as a call centre.

Sources confirmed that from Monday, a small group of volunteers started attending calls. The number of volunteers will go up in the days to come. Sources said not more than 50 calls were received at the helpline on Monday.

But with volunteers receiving complaints about citizens and stings on government officials, questions are being raised on how the government will prevent leaks and ensure secrecy of information received.

When this correspondent called up the helpline number, the person on the other end confirmed that the helpline was started on Monday. “If you have any complaints or sting tapes you can tell us, we will guide you. We can’t tell you where our office is located,” said the person.

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