Thanks to the helpline and cell phone app launched by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the increased number of cases from the rural areas, the Pune division has recorded the highest number of bribery traps laid this year in the state.
The Pune division of the state ACB has jurisdiction over Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur district. The number of bribery traps reported between January 1 and June 30 by the Pune division has shown a rise of 46 per cent with the figure in 2015 being 121 as compared to 82 in 2014 during the same time.
The number of cases from Pune are more than even Mumbai and Thane divisions — 75 and 33 respectively — and also that of Aurangabad at 90 which is a distant second.
Officers from the Pune division of the ACB said there had been a significant rise in the number of cases that were being reported from the rural areas. Police officers said the rise could be attributed to more inputs from the rural areas. According to estimates, the cases from rural areas have seen a significant 50 to 55 per cent rise.
Shirish Sardeshpande, superintendent with Pune division of the ACB, said, “Our 1064 helpline number and the mobile phone app of the Maharashtra ACB has been responsible for this rise. We ensure that every call, every bit of information that we receive from these platforms is recorded and it is followed up. We also make sure that the identity of the complainant is not revealed and if one cannot come to our office, our team visits them to get the case registered.”
The data released by the state ACB on Thursday shows that maximum number of these cases were from the revenue, police, health and education departments. At the same time, cases from Panchayat Samitis, Zilla Parishads, forest department divisions – where most complainants were from rural areas – have seen a significant rise.
Sardeshpande added, “In most of the cases of bribery traps that are recorded from the rural areas, the amount of bribe may be low but these traps have certainly helped put a check on corruption. If any public servant demands a bribe, people can call on 020-26122134, 020-26132802, toll free number 1064 or get in touch through the app.”