Over the last three years, Delhiites have paid Rs 4.3 crore as bribes to get some kind of favour or the other in government departments, data compiled by a website has revealed.
On an average, a Delhiite pays Rs 16,465 as bribe every year to get away after committing traffic violations, to get a police verification done for a passport or for a ‘hassle-free’ driving licence. The data is a compilation of residents’ reports on the website ipaidabribe.com.
“Around Rs 4,29,74,759 is the total bribe amount in three years paid by people in the Capital. This figure is not even the tip of the iceberg as this only shows the small fraction of people who have come online and reported paying money to get some work done in any government department,” Gitesh Bansal, solutions manager of Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, which runs the website, said.
According to data provided by the organisation based on people’s reports, the primary bribe takers in Delhi are police, customs, excise and service tax department officials.
The top reasons behind paying bribes are traffic violations, police verification for passport and driving licence.
The case studies include interesting posts from anonymous residents.
While one person said a traffic cop, instead of issuing a challan to a violator on a two-wheeler, asked for a soft drink worth R10, another post accused an SHO of asking for a bribe of R6 lakh.
“The general trend is that big cities have a large number of corruption cases. The population is more and therefore there is much more opportunity to demand a bribe. People are more aware and therefore there are more reports,” Swati Ramanathan, co-founder of Janaagraha, said.
“The amount of bribes is larger in big cities. Other than that, all of Delhi is urban. Land-related issues and deals are a big thing here,” Ramanathan said.
Analysis of the data on ipaidabribe.com also indicated that Indians paid over R600,000 crore each year just on petty “retail” corruption, which translated into over R25,000 of annual bribe per citizen, Ramanathan said.
Ipaidabribe, which was launched by Janaagraha on August 15, 2010 and has over 20,000 citizens’ bribe experiences reported from 544 cities across the country, has also started its Hindi website mainerishwatdi.com.