‘Give power to the people to fight corruption’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Give power to the people to fight corruption’

india Updated: Apr 22, 2009 00:45 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Bijli, Sadak and Paani (read good governance) have become a major rallying point over the last few years during elections and seen many a stalwarts taste the dust at the hustings.

Political parties are seen raking up the issues of bijli, sadak and paani but rarely go beyond to bring corruption on their agenda.

“It’s not that there are no funds. It is just that engineers from the civic body are siphoning off funds meant for the roads. Possibly that explains why certain roads are laid and re-laid and why after spending so much of money, the potholes continue,” pointed out Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejriwal.

The RTI activist is spearheading a campaign called ‘Swaraj’ this election season, wherein he asks people to urge politicians to give them power.

“Power to people will mean that the employees are accountable to the people. This will drastically bring down corruption,” he said adding, “This will also reduce the time frame.”

Corruption cases drag on for years and the government employee remains suspended. Simply put, he does not work but gets half the salary.

He said the fight by the residents of Rajinder Nagar is a classic example where they could find out the guilty but could not punish them.

A 200 yards stretch of Salwan Road in Rajinder Nagar broke down in 2003. When nothing was done despite repeated complaints to the MCD, the residents approached the Public Grievances Commission in 2004.

S.P. Gupta, general secretary of Rajinder Nagar Welfare Association, said they acted on our complaint following an RTI application and the Anti-Corruption Branch finally arrested three MCD employees in August 2008.

Kejriwal said 'Swaraj' would bring a ray of hope in such a situation. “The guilty is punished there and then … not by some judge sitting far away,” he said. “In ‘Swaraj’, the Mohalla Committee or the Ward Committee gives them power,” Kejriwal said.