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Man held during Lokayukta's visit to RTO

By Our Staff Reporter



An alleged tout (right) being confronted by Lokayukta officers at the Yeshwantpur RTO in Bangalore on Wednesday. — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

BANGALORE, MAY 5. A suspected tout at the office of the Regional Transport Officer at Yeshwantpur was arrested and remanded in police custody here on Wednesday after he allegedly tried to attack police officers accompanying the Lokayukta, N. Venkatachala, who visited the office.

The Lokayukta was going round the RTO building asking officers how many driving licences had been issued during the week. He was told that the number of applicants was considerably fewer, perhaps because there were rumours of the Lokayukta's impending visit.

An auto driver, Arun, complained there were too many touts at the RTO office who would not allow any transaction unless they were routed through them. "The RTO officers take too long to issue permits," some others complained. The Superintendent of Police, Ramesh, who was with the Lokayukta, asked some people about the activities of touts, when one of the onlookers, identified later as B. Kempe Gowda, objected to the questioning. There was an altercation between him, allegedly a tout operating on the premises, and the police officer. At one stage, Kempe Gowda made threatening gestures and touched Mr. Ramesh. The police and RTO officers caught hold of him and he was removed from the scene after being thrashed.

Mr. Venkatachala earlier visited KC General Hospital and spoke to doctors and patients. After repeated questioning, some doctors admitted to taking money from patients. A ward boy also admitted accepting small amounts from patients. The Lokayukta ordered an enquiry and recommended suspension of the ward boy.

Going around the wards, the Lokayukta found that the temperature, pulse, and blood pressure of several patients were not being recorded. There was a pneumonia patient who said he was asked to undergo an HIV test.

Later the Lokayukta visited a Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Health Department office where, going through the records, he found that there had been no recent inspection of eateries in the area. Fifty per cent of the 3,700 registered restaurants in the area were found to not have renewed their licences.

There were also a large number of eateries operating without licences.

The Health Officer (West) was due to retire shortly and if the irregularities were not rectified, his retirement benefits should be withheld, Mr. Venkatachala suggested.

The Lokayukta also visited the Engineering Works Department (West) of the BMP where he found that tenders submitted by the same contractor were being repeatedly accepted.

Several cheques for payments, passed weeks ago, were seen not to have been despatched.

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