Dehradun: The change of guard by the BJP in Uttarakhand and subsequent efforts to curb corruption has left the state bureaucracy in an awkward position. Owing to the positive approach of the state government, the popularity of the Lokayukta has increased manifold. Simultaneously, the changes have given the state officials an issue to worry about.

After Chief Minister BC Khanduri’s initiative the guilty in scams like SIDCO, Varunavat and Ayurved would soon be brought to books.

Even though the public has started instilling confidence in the Lokayukta, one has to face some bitter realities when a case of the allegations related to the government officials crops up. The government has already tightened the noose of concerned authorities who are sitting on the piles of public complaints.

According to the Vigilance department, the Lokayukta is having recommendations for 137 cases. However, between 2003 and 2011, 244 cases after proper proceedings have been sent to the government. And if according to report, proceedings would be initiated then, 232 officers may have a tough time ahead.

If proceedings are initiated in Varunavat treatment case where irregularities amounting to crores have been done, SIDCO Haridwar case, Pantnagar Phase –II and IT Park Dehradun and Ayurveda Treatment scam, then the official involved will surely have sleepless nights ahead.

This in itself is a major loophole in the Lokayuta Act that the PM is still outside the ambit of it. In addition, it does not have the right of search and seal and also the right that an official can lodge complaint against a departmental colleague.

However, this is soon going to be a chapter in history of Uttarakhand. After Khanduri took over the charge of CM for the second time, he has announced for a effective Lokayukta and has also taken an initiative to bring CM under its ambit.

Not only this, he has also started working on the front for making the Lokayukta Act effective enough to fight corruption. There would be amendments and the Action Taken Report would be presented in the proposed Assembly session in this month itself.

In this regard, in a high level meeting, the departments were asked to submit their   Action Taken Report. After 2005, no report has been presented in the session.

JPN/Bureau