Uttarakhand Announces Slew of Anti-Graft Measures

Dehra Dun
Uttarakhand Announces Slew of Anti-Graft Measures
After passage of the Lokayukta bill, Uttarakhand government today announced a slew of steps to tackle corruption including setting up of special courts and confiscation of ill-gotten of corruption officials and putting them to public use.

In another key decision, the state government decided that owing to hindrances caused in development work due to the Forest Conservation Act, the provision regarding declaring “benaap” land as reserve forest land, a legacy of the British colonial era, has also been scrapped.

This will make available about four lakh hectares of land for development work, Chief Minister B C Khanduri said in the eve of the state’s 11th foundation day tomorrow.

He said that in order to provide necessary public services unhindered to the people within a stipulated time frame, the Right to Service Act has been formulated.

Under this, different departments associated with the general public for providing about 62 services have been identified and a time limit has also been fixed for each.

More number of services would be included in it in the future, Khanduri said.

A provision has also been made for action against officials and employees who do not conform to service delivery within the prescribed time limit, Khanduri said adding this has also been brought under the purview of the Lokayukta.

The Chief Minister said a new department of “Suraaj, Bhrashtachaar Unmulan and Jan Sewa” (good governance, corruption eradication and public service) has been constituted.

All ministers, IAS and IPS officials of the state have already declared their assets, he said.

The state government has also formulated a strong Act for confiscation of wealth and property amassed by public servants through corrupt means and its utilization for public welfare work.

Special courts would be constituted for hearing cases under this Act, he said.

The Chief Minister said that in order to make the transfer procedures transparent, the existing transfer policy has been given the shape of an Act.

This will enable posting of adequate number of personnel in remote and far flung areas of Uttarakhand.

After a definite time period, the transfer of employees would be done automatically from remote areas to approachable location and from approachable locations to remote areas, Khanduri said.

The system of interviews has been entirely done away with for Group ‘C’ post.

The candidates will henceforth be allowed to retain a carbon copy of their answer sheets with them so that they can carry out self-assessment at a later stage.

He said building Uttarakhand in consonance with the dreams and aspirations of the martyrs of statehood agitationists is possible with the cooperation and assistance of all sections of the society.

The Chief Minister said that taking a major initiative to foster good governance in Uttarakhand, his government got a strong Lokayukta Act passed in the state assembly.

"Uttarakhand is the first state in the entire country where such a strong Lokayukta Act has been introduced", Khanduri said.

He pointed out that Anna Hazare has also urged the Centre to consider the Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act as a model for the proposed Lokpal bill.
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