Srinagar, Sep 04: Despite strict Government, state vigilance commission (SVC) guidelines, Majority of the government departments with large public interface have failed to install close circuit television cameras to keep proper surveillance on officials.
Official sources told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that the government had decided to install CCTV cameras at important government offices wherein public dealing is done at large and the corruption related cases are witnessing a surge.
Sources said that even the various anti-graft bodies including the State Vigilance Commission had directed the government various times to install CCTV cameras in offices having public interface.
“Jammu and Kashmir is one of the states in India having highest rate of corruption. The departments having large public interference were directed several times to install CCTV cameras and their recordings be preserved for minimum period of 6 months which should be periodically examined by a committee headed a by a senior officer, but it has been seen that nothing much has been done in this regard,” one of the officials of the government told KNS.
A senior official at the General Administration Department on condition of anonymity said that many departments have failed to install cameras. “Some of the offices have already CCTV cameras but majority have failed to install cameras despite having public interface,” the official said.
Sources said that over the years among the departments against whom the anti grafts agencies have received most of the corruption complaints against its officials are Rural Development, Public Works, health, education, social welfare, Consumer Affairs Public Distribution, PDD, Forest and Revenue Department.
Sources said that the complainants were received include misappropriation of funds, use of sub standard material in execution of works, appointments in violation of norms.
It has been seen that common man’s perception is that he has to pay bribe for any of the public services. “People by and large have come to the conclusion that without greasing someone’s palms or managing political influence they cannot get any work done in the offices of the departments,” one of the social activist said.
The authorities should install CCTV cameras in all these offices to record not only the incidences of corruption but to see how public servants behave with citizens while dealing with them,” said Uman Umar one of the RTI activist.
Sources said that as far as Works/Engineering Departments were concerned, there was huge influx of complaints regarding alleged drawal of payments against non executed/non-existent works; execution of works without inviting tenders; splitting of works involving huge expenditure so as to justify the execution of works departmentally; use of sub-standard material in execution of works and non-deduction of taxes at source from the bills of contractors.
About the Rural Development Department, the general complaints were with regard to drawal of payments against non executed works; allotment of works on fake job cards; allotment of works to ineligible persons; providing of financial assistance under IAY scheme to the un-deserving persons at the cost of eligible persons; non-maintenance of records regarding execution of works making it difficult to ascertain as to when the work was taken up for execution and when the same had been completed leaving a scope for drawal of funds in respect of same work more than once.
The general public opine that the government should immediately install CCTVs at Tehsildar, NaibTehsildar,Patwar Khana offices, hospitals, RTO/ARTO office treasury/sub treasury. Besides it should also install CCTVs in cashier/accounts section of executive engineer of all engineering departments, BDOs, clerical halls of offices having sizeable public dealing and other departments.
It is also to mention here that the government as well as private educational institutes has also failed to install CCTVs.
Education Department had directed heads of all schools and private educational institutions to install CCTV cameras to ensure safety of students. The guidelines to educational institutions were issued by the department after some parents had raised concerns about security of their wards, be it physical, mental or emotional security, including child abuse. (KNS)