With 276 complaints registered in past five-and-a-half-months, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB)’s helpline has turned into a hotline. And what’s more significant is the fact that as many as 12 of these complaints have already resulted in successful trap executions, in-charge director of ACB, Ashish Bhatia claimed on Friday.
“On an average each month we receive around 50 complaints, which is much better than the negligible-to-none calls we received over the phone before the helpline (1800-233-44444) was launched in May,” Bhatia said, adding that the helpline rings in as many as 40 such calls every day.
Explaining the disparity between the high number of calls and the number of complaints per day, Bhatia said, “Around 30 of the 40 calls received are general inquiries made by curious citizens who wish to know more about our work. Only 4-5 calls are actual complaints against government officials who demand bribe with other 4-5 calls made by people who may have paid bribes already and want to report it now.”
ACB data states that of the 276 complaints received between May and the first half of October this year, maximum calls i.e., 70, were registered in July, while October’s first two weeks itself registered 23 complaints.
“Highest number of calls came from Ahmedabad city and rural, Surat city, Rajkot city and rural as well as Bhavnagar. Of these, with 24 complaints, Amdavadi complainants top the list,” Bhatia said.
Surat city and Rajkot rural registered 19 calls each, while the helpline received 16 calls each from Rajkot city and Bhavnagar during the five-and-half-month period, he added. On the other hand, Narmada, Porbandar and Valsad accounted for two calls each only.
Bhatia credits the overall positive response to the helpline to the recent awareness campaign carried out by the ACB. The latest step in this direction took place during the garba celebrations, where 15 posters were put up in each district of the state at prominent locations, he said.
ACB sets record of 8 cases in 48 hrs
Past 48 hours have been really hot for the ACB which executed as many as seven successful traps for a collective bribe amounting of Rs3.54 lakh across the state, on Thursday and Friday.
It also found disproportionate assets of Rs81 lakh, taking its case tally to eight in the past two days. All this was done despite the fact that 40 % of the 92 police inspector level posts are vacant.
“This is a record of sorts. Previously, we executed three traps in a day, while this time we had an average of 4 cases each on Thursday and Friday,” stated in-charge director of ACB, Ashish Bhatia on Friday.