More than a week after former health minister and BJP MLA Sudip Roy Barman alleged discrepancies in the purchase of medical supplies worth Rs. 38 lakh, the Tripura government has launched an anti-corruption helpline number Wednesday, promising to safeguard the identity of the whistleblower.
“Our aim is Zero tolerance policy against corruption. To bring more transparency in Governance, we are launching a WhatApp no: 8794534501, where you can complain with evidence regarding any corruption and we will take action within 24 hours. Your identity will be kept secret,” Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb wrote on Twitter.
He appealed people to report any government officer or employee if they harass them for bribes. Deb has assured that proper action would be taken against such errant government servants within 24 hours of complaint and the complainant’s name would be kept secret.
Sudip Roy Barman, who was axed from the state cabinet in May last year, wrote in a letter to the CM, “When the entire globe has come together to fight out the invisible and vicious enemy – COVID-19, when the Union Govt. of India & other state government have pledged to fight out this enemy together, when the countrymen are generously donating in PMCARES fund & CM relief funds during this topsy-turvy situation, it’s really frustrating to see a section of officials are hand in glove with some traders to take advantage of this precarious situation in making money.”
Barman alleged that over Rs. 38 lakh have been misappropriated during procurement of hand sanitizers and protective gear like masks.
Sudip claimed that the health ministry, which is headed by Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb himself, has “miserably failed to store and make necessary data entry of the COVID-19 related stock (mask, soap, sanitizer hand wash etc.) as received from various Govt. agencies, PSUs, private bodies under their CSR activities.”
The CM ordered an enquiry into the issue on April 25 and said strict action would be taken against anyone found guilty.