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Contractor-neta raaj

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Governance

A day after 198 corporators condemned the BBMP's decision to freeze 1,970 civic works worth Rs 530 crore based on the report given by the vigilance team, the man behind the investigation tendered his registration and opted for VRS.

N Devaraj, chief engineer, Technical Vigilance Committee under Commissioner (TVCC), sought voluntary retirement. He said: "I'm hurt by the way corporators spoke in the council about me and my report. So far, I've given my hundred percent at work and now I don't want to continue. Politicians would request me to change the report as they wanted, but I never succumbed to their pressure. I don't want to work in such a system."

The BBMP commissioner had put 1,970 works on hold across the city, after the TVCC report said these works were either unnecessary, repeated or needn't be taken up at a time when the civic agency is reeling under a financial crunch. The report was prepared after inspections and investigation.

- - Devaraj was threatened by a group of persons when he gave his report on the scam in transferable development rights in May 2012.


For the full report in the ToI, click here.

That our neta's were largely under the influence of contractors, and how they worked to keep them busy (check this), was well known from long. From that position, in the last Corporation and recent Assembly elections, the contractors themselves have gone on to become neta's. And, going by this report, it appears there is no power on earth that can stop them, particularly now that they supposedly have the mandate of the people also. 

So, do we just sit and watch? It's a matter of serious worry.

Muralidhar Rao

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murali772's picture

Redeeming factor

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Even as I was pondering over the matter most of yesterday, I was heartened to read the following observations on Dr Ashwin Mahesh's 'facebook' wall:

It is outrageous that an officer in BBMP seeks voluntary retirement because he is unable to work in the prevailing climate of corruption. The solution is not to let him retire and find a more pliable alternative, which is what the corporators and MLAs want. The correct way for the new CM to tackle this racket is to make the TVCC completely autonomous, and include citizens also in verification of public works. Only when we get government BY THE PEOPLE will we really get sustainably good outcomes.

It is good to see that the loss at the hustings hasn't affected his commitment to public causes any; on the contrary, it seems to have gained greater resolve - kudos to him.

More heartening was to read in this mornings papers reports (NIE - here; ToI - here) about street demonstraions held by LokSatta, AAP, and highly regarded members of the Civil Society, all extending support to Mr Devaraj, followed by filing of petitions with the CM to intervene, and ensure that officers like Mr Devraj are allowed to function freely.

Well, when the truth is behind you, that is the biggest force, before which nothing can stand in the way - least of all the contractor-neta mafia. So, let's all add our might to the battle. From Praja-RAAG's side too, I'll be sending out a petition to the CM today. Besides, I'll be personally participating in all future demo's in this connection.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

letter mailed to CM

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Letter reading as below, mailed. Hard copy will be posted tomorrow.

Sri Siddaramaiah
Honourable Chief Minister, Govt of Karnataka,
Bangalore

Dear Sir

Sub: prevailing atmosphere of threat to honest officers

It is outrageous that Sri Devaraj, Chief Engineer, BBMP, is seeking voluntary retirement because he is unable to work in the prevailing climate of corruption in the organisation. The solution, you'll appreciate, Sir, is not to let him retire and find a more pliable alternative, which is what the corporators and MLAs want. The correct way to tackle this racket would be to make the TVCC completely autonomous, and include citizens also in verification of public works. Only when we get government BY THE PEOPLE will we really get sustainably good outcomes.

To begin with, we request you to take a grip on the situation fast and ensure safe working conditions for the honest officers, so that the people don't lose faith altogether in our systems and institutions.

We look forward to immediate affirmative action from your side in this regard.

Thanking you,

Yours truly,
for Praja-RAAG,
sd/-
Muralidhar Rao
(President)

Perhaps, other Civil Society organisations too may want to follow suit.

Muralidhar Rao
kamalakar pandit's picture

Sir, I saw Devaraj sir

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Sir,

I saw Devaraj sir interview yesterday in a news channel !! people who are in such big position are not able to do anything about the corrupt system..its really dis-hartening to hear him. one can imagine the humuliation he must have faced by so called elected representatives.. its really bad that such an honnest officer decided to take VRS just for mere selfish political pressure..shame on this system..dont know ordinary citizen's fate..

murali sir, I hope  Hon. C M reads your mail in his busy schedule..

Regards

kamalakar padit.

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