No taker of SVC’s recommendations for strengthening internal vigilance in deptts

Preventing encroachments at
initial stages least priority

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 30: There is no taker of State Vigilance Commission’s recommendations for strengthening system of internal vigilance in the Government departments despite the fact that such a mechanism is imperative to check corrupt practices and to ensure transparency in the functioning of different organs of the Government.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that some years back State Vigilance Commission had made a number of recommendations to the Government for strengthening internal vigilance in the departments and as a measure of preventive vigilance.
These recommendations were based on the nature of complaints against majority of the Government departments received by the Commission ever since its constitution and were aimed at ensuring utmost transparency particularly in the functioning of public dealing departments.
However, neither during the tenure of previous PDP-BJP Coalition Government nor during the present Governor’s Rule seriousness at any level has been shown towards implementation of these recommendations, sources said, adding “from inaction on majority of the recommendations inference can be easily drawn that there is no intention to improve internal vigilance in the Government departments although corruption is still at alarming level in the State”.
The Commission had recommended installation of CCTVs in work areas dealing with issuance of State Subject Certificates, gun licenses, character certificates, category certificates etc in the offices of the Deputy Commissioners; offices of Tehsildar, Naib Tehsildar and Patwar Khanas to cover places of public dealing with issuance of fard, revenue record copies, income certificates and category reservation documents etc.
Moreover, the Commission had recommended installation of CCTVs in the cashier/accounts sections of Executive Engineers of all engineering departments, BDO offices, Traffic Police checking points operating at fixed locations and Municipality offices.
“Though CCTVs have been installed in large number of offices but not at the places identified by the Vigilance Commission for maintaining hawk’s eyes on the activities of the employees handling these works”, sources said, adding “this is notwithstanding the fact that complaints about corrupt practices generally pertain to these works”.
The Vigilance Commission had further recommended that as far as possible the sanctioning authority for works of all engineering departments should be different from the executing agency so as to create an in-built system of check against corrupt practices. “This recommendation has also fallen on deaf ears”, sources said.
“Similar is the fate of recommendation vis-a-vis providing complete information on websites by the organizations discharging enforcement functions of service delivery of any kind, which cause interface with the general public”, they said, adding “there are large number of departments which are not providing full information on their respective websites even after explicit directions from the transparency watchdog—Jammu and Kashmir State Information Commission”.
Notwithstanding the recommendation of initiating steps to prevent encroachments and violation of building by-laws at the initial stage, the Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations and other Municipal bodies have yet not developed any mechanism in this regard and focus is laid only after the violators complete their illegal activities that too on the receipt of formal complaints.
“Moreover, there is no end to the practice of visits of individual police personnel to the houses of applicants seeking passports or calling the applicants to Police Stations despite the fact that Vigilance Commission has dubbed this exercise as source of corruption”, sources further said.
The Vigilance Commission had also recommended on spot periodical and surprise checks of all developmental works including welfare programmes by the Administrative Secretaries and Heads of the Departments to plug leakages and corruption. But, no serious attention has been paid towards this aspect also, sources regretted.
“There are several other important recommendations of the Vigilance Commission which have not received due attention of the concerned authorities”, they said, adding “it seems that recommendations and advisories of the Commission are merely trash for majority of the Government departments otherwise there should not be any hitch in acting upon them if there is clear intention of maintaining internal vigilance to check corrupt practices”.