Graft-tainted staff snug in BBMP fort

33 employees trapped by the Lokayukta continue in service

 It appears that no amount of reprimand or threats of dire consequences has any bearing on the officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) who top the list of government officials receiving bribes.

In the last two years alone, 33 of the Palike employees were trapped by the Lokayukta while allegedly receiving a bribe. However, none of these officials have been shaken out of their ‘comfort zone’ in the BBMP.

Sources in the BBMP told Deccan Herald that almost all the 33 employees, either dismissed or under investigation, continue to serve in their earlier posts.
Palike records show that the Administration, Revenue, Health and Public Works departments have the highest number of trap cases. Revenue department alone has 19 officials allegedly found accepting bribe.

While most of the cases are in various stages of investigation, either with the Lokayukta or with their departments, there have been only three cases of “dismissal” so far. However, all the three officials continue to function in their posts after procuring a stay on their dismissal in the High Court. The officers are T K Rameshkumar (Administration); K S Nanjegowda and N T Nataraj, both bill collectors working under the Palike’s Revenue department.

While the 33 officials are direct recruits to the BBMP, many other officers trapped by the Lokayukta have come on deputation to the Palike. According to BBMP officials, the number of trap cases in the Palike also include those officials on deputation. “These cases are not more than 50 per cent of the total trap cases in the BBMP,” said a high-ranking BBMP officer.

Palike Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda said the only way to prevent bribery is by arresting these ‘human interfaces’. “And possibly, the online applications for various services offered by the BBMP is one of the ways to prevent the bribery,” he said.
Gowda appreciated the actions taken by the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) Chief R P Sharma in sending a strong message to ‘errant’ officials involved in the building plan deviation cases.

“While our Engineering department has initiated action, even the BMTF has filed charges on the alleged collusion between the engineers and the citizens,” he said.

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