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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

‘Am uncorrupted’: Telangana officer puts up big board in office

The 37-year-old who hails from Kamalapur village, part of Warangal (urban) district, said he was vexed with the corruption in the department, as it had become a habit for contractors doing various electric works to grease the palms of the officials from top to bottom to get their bills sanctioned and files approved.

telangana Updated: Nov 19, 2019 18:57 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
An engineer working with the electricity department in Telangana’s Karimnagar district has put up a board in his chamber stating that he is not corrupt and would not accept bribes from consumers.
An engineer working with the electricity department in Telangana’s Karimnagar district has put up a board in his chamber stating that he is not corrupt and would not accept bribes from consumers.
         

An engineer working with the electricity department in Telangana’s Karimnagar district has put up a board in his chamber stating that he is not corrupt and would not accept bribes from consumers.

“I am uncorrupted (sic). I will not accept bribes,” reads the big board in red colour right behind the seat of Podeti Ashok, an assistant divisional engineer (ADE) in the Northern Power Distribution Company Limited (NPDCL) office in Karimnagar town.

The 37-year-old who hails from Kamalapur village, part of Warangal (urban) district, said he was vexed with the corruption in the department, as it had become a habit for contractors doing various electric works to grease the palms of the officials from top to bottom to get their bills sanctioned and files approved.

“I joined the electricity department in 2005 after passing out my engineering degree in 2004. Since then, I have been keeping away from corrupt practices. But I cannot force others to refrain from accepting bribes. After being promoted as ADE in June this year, I have decided not to encourage corruption at least in my office. So, I stumbled upon this idea of putting up a board last month,” he said.

On being asked if it does it not send a message to the people that the electricity department is corrupt, Ashok told HT: “Well, let us accept the reality. Everybody knows there is corruption in the department. I only wanted to convey the message to the people that the entire department is not corrupt.”

The officer admitted that the action has offended his colleagues in the department and they had found fault with him for putting up a board. “But I cannot help. That is my policy and I am not coming in the way of others,” he said.

Ashok said he would continue with the practice till the day of his retirement. “I am not worried about any pressure. At the most, I might be transferred to another place,” he said.

When contacted, Divisional Engineer of NPDCL at Karimnagar S Ramachander Rao said Ashok should not have put up the board as it was embarrassing for other employees in the department and created an impression that everybody else was corrupt. “We told him to remove the board, but he is insisting on continuing it. The higher-ups will look into the matter,” he said.