Living in the Millennium City has proved costly for residents and inflation is not the only factor to be blamed. According to residents, rampant corruption at government offices has a major role to play too.
In a recently Hindustan Times - C fore survey, 75% respondents said corruption in local offices is an important concern. Moreover, 63% said corrupt practices are quite rampant.
According to the state vigilance bureau, Gurgaon, seven gazetted officers have been booked for graft recently. Data from the bureau shows that raids have been conducted against officials of all local government offices.
People have been reportedly harassed by officials at the revenue department, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), Dakshin Haryana Bidyut Vitran Nigam, and the transport department.
Two tehsildars (revenue officers) were booked on Wednesday for colluding with the land mafia. Also, the local Huda administrator recently slapped a department peon for allegedly demanding bribe from people.
Almost all residents have, in one way or the other, at least once, irrespective of the social strata or profession they belonged to, encountered corruption.
"See the condition of the city,” fumes Colonel (retd.) SC Talwar, a resident who has led campaign against graft in the city. His is an obvious reference to the bad state of roads, parks, sewerage system and lack of bare minimum infrastructures such as footpaths, a smooth transport system and adequate power and water supply.
Getting work done in the city without dealing with officials who demand a bribe is rare, residents feel. Basic things such as obtaining a completion certificate of house, getting water or electricity connections or obtaining a driving license need an extra effort.
"Tell me one department where I can get my work done without paying a bribe," asked businessman Gourav Luthra.
"It's not just individuals who bow down to the bribe demand, institutions too are coerced into paying money by departments like the District Town and Planning (DTP) and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Council (HSIIDC) ," complained an industrialist from Udyog Vihar. "The corruption nexus is intricate and strong. The city has become home to mafias of all kinds - land, builder, civic contractors, wine," he added.
Deputy Commissioner PC Meena, who is at the helm of the district administration, claims to have adopted a "zero tolerance" policy against corruption.
"We are doing our best to redress graft-related grievances," he said.
He added, "Time and again we have booked government officials on the charges of graft. We just need people to come forward and report it. It is a systematic problem that we can get rid of only when we work together."