Common man feels corruption has increased: Study

India may be witnessing popular agitations against graft but there is no respite for the common man from the menace with over 60 per cent of slum dwellers in major cities feeling that corruption has indeed increased in the past one year, a new study says.

The 'CMS-India Corruption Study 2012' says majority of the slum dwellers surveyed felt that corruption in public services has grown in the last 12 months, the season of protests against graft and scandals that rocked the country.

The study conducted by the Centre for Media Studies in the slums of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata and Mumbai also said slum dwellers in all these cities perceived an increase in corruption especially police services.
"More than half of the slum dwellers from nine major cities in the 2012 survey felt that corruption in general has increased in public services in the last 12 months while around 29 per cent opined that corruption in public services continues to remain the same," the study released today says.
88 per cent of the people said they faced corruption from police service in the last one year and least in water supply services (78 per cent).
The study threw up several interesting features like 'most often paid' amount among services was highest in police which is Rs 500 and the highest amount paid by a single slum household in Delhi to get a housing plot is Rs 7000.One slum dweller in Kolkata also paid a paltry sum of Rs 5 to get monthly ration.
Among other findings of the survey include only 23 per cent of the people surveyed in Ahmedabad this year experienced corruption, a remarkable decrease when compared to 41 per cent in 2008.
However, in all other cities the percentage registered a phenomenal increase with 96 per cent of the slum dwellers in Mumbai saying that they have been a victim of the menace. In 2008, the percentage was just 17 per cent.The study comes at a time when there is a clamour from civil society groups for enacting a stronger Lok Pal Bill and other steps to curb corruption in all spheres of the society.
"The incidence of corruption has doubled since 2008 in urban India from 34 per cent to 67 per cent. Out of those who were asked to pay, 84 per cent paid bribe to pay to avail the services," the study says.
It also says people paid bribe for availing basic services like monthly ration, a ration card, new electricity connection), water supply, removal of garbage), to get OPD card in public hospitals and to get an FIR registered or remove name as an accused from police records.
"Of those who experienced corruption in public services, about 47 per cent experienced once during the last 12 months while another 31 per cent came across such situations twice," it says.
Three out of every four slum dwellers (75 per cent) had been asked for a bribe in at least one of the three public services - PDS, Public Hospital/Health services and Municipal Services - in the previous 12 months prior to the survey.
The study also says around 35 per cent of slum dwellers were denied service at least once as they could not pay bribe.
The study also suggested measures like special review of policies to do with slums and slum dwellers in the specific context of basic services to free them from the menace of corruption.
"Social audit of services in urban slums will ensure better service delivery and plugging the gaps in supply and demand of public services. Rights to Service should be introduced in all big cities across the country for time-bound service delivery," the study said. 

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