Continuing with their fight against corruption, volunteers of the Mumbai chapter of the non-government organisation (NGO) India Against Corruption (IAC) got nine rationing officers to sign an anti-corruption declaration on Tuesday.
As part of their efforts towards ending graft, the volunteers paid visit to 15 rationing offices on Tuesday, of which nine agreed to sign. Subsequently, they plan to visit the offices of the municipal corporations, RTO, police stations and request them to sign the declaration.
The declaration form read: “I hereby declare that I will not accept bribe from any citizen of India in my organisation nor will I allow anyone of my colleagues to accept bribes from anyone.”
While four rationing offices in Thane, Ambernath, Mira Road and Kalyan were closed on account of Gauri Visarjan, the rationing officers at Kurla and Girgaum refused to sign the declaration. “The officer at Kurla flatly refused whereas at Girgaum, the officer cited a restraining order from the authorities. Later, the officer proposed to sign on Monday,” said Preeti Menon, IAC volunteer.
Meanwhile, high drama ensued at the Thane rationing office as 22 volunteers were arrested by the Thane Nagar police station for assembling at a government office without prior permission and defacing the property by pasting stickers on the walls.
“On Monday, around 50 citizens were told that they could meet the officer on Tuesday. They were also provided with appointment slips. Despite that, the office was shut on Tuesday. It seems, the collector declared a holiday at the last minute. Sadly, the officials didn’t bother to inform the people about it,” alleged Rajesh Unnikrishnan, volunteer and coordinator, IAC, Thane. “Irked with the apathy, we started shouting slogans. The police, then, arrested us for creating nuisance.”
The authorities, however, begged to differ. “The holiday for Gauri Visarjan was declared long ago by the divisional commissioner of Konkan region,” said AL Jarhad, district collector, Thane.