Uttarakhand announces slew of anti-graft measures

After passage of the Lokayukta bill, Uttarakhand government on Tuesday announced a slew of steps to tackle corruption.

Dehra Dun: After passage of the Lokayukta
bill, Uttarakhand government on Tuesday 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 BC Khanduri said
in the eve of the state’s 11th Foundation Day tomorrow, Chief
Minister BC Khanduri in his message said.

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

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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