Y.S. RANA , CHANDIGARH : The Chandigarh Administration is observing ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ from October 29 to November 3 in pursuance of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) directions. The CVC in its instructions has directed the Administration to observe the week and should be planned in such a way that would involve a series of awareness programmes in the city.
Letters were issued to various departments directing them to observe the week by displaying banner/poster and organizing various activities such as poster making competition, debate, seminars, workshops, essay writing competition. They were also asked to send the detailed report along with photographs of activities held during the week.
Questions are raised about “what we are celebrating,” Has the observance of the week any relevance when the Administration is damnable enough by the corruption? “Having seen the city change over for the past 40 years and lose its values, I find the idea of observing elitist and not connected to the aspirations of the people,” said T. L Sharma, Secretary, All India Social Bodies Federation, Chandigarh. Observing an awareness week is not enough, celebration should have been justified the Administration’s governance and transparency, he added
A section of the people has lamented officials’ lack of values, shrinking ethics spaces and growing corruption. Observing it as a mere ritual seems “ridiculous” to some, who argue that the city’s development, growth, and clean administration all which are not satisfactory, cannot be further overlooked. “In my view it is just a ritual that has to be performed every year. What does it mean when the values that make good governance are missing?” said Arun Ahluwalia, a senior citizen.
“In administration, what matters most is public perception. Officials must not only be honest but also perceived to be so. But because of some that the entire class stands discredited in the public eye,” said the official of education department.
The Administration did nothing in the face of the rising public revulsion over the omnipresent corruption and ignored it for too long. Voices of protests became loud that is why it came to the stage where Administration had to eat crow on corruption cases. A number of corruption cases are gathering dust in the department of Home. All sort of enquiries are started against corrupt officials but without any results whereas corruption by a government functionary is the fountain-head of all corruption.
The Administration has been ignoring CVC instructions on very sensitive posts. According to CVC instructions, an official cannot remain on any sensitive seat for more than two to three years at a stretch and tainted official should not hold any public dealing seat.
Not only corrupt and tainted official are sitting pretty but undeserved babus were being honoured. In many cases, the departments have never bothered to transfer such officials despite strict CVC instructions. The big question is—if the Administration is following these instructions then why it shies away from taking action. A lot of money would be spent on observance of the week anyhow means should justify the end, said official of education department.