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You can soon dial Lokayukta for help

Raghava M.


The wing will attend to routine calls on corruption


BANGALORE: Did the doctor at a government hospital refuse to attend to a patient? Are there not enough facilities in the hospital to attend to an accident victim? Are government officials demanding bribe from you? Just call the Lokayukta anytime and get immediate relief.

This is not an empty promise. The Lokayukta will shortly start a helpline to handle all such calls. The person receiving the call will make all necessary arrangements to get the patient treated immediately. If an official is corrupt, the specific instance will be recorded and forwarded to the Lokayukta police for investigation. “We are making the institution available to people round-the-clock,” Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde told The Hindu.

The idea of setting up the helpline came about as Mr. Hegde and Upa Lokayukta G. Patri Basavana Goud started getting calls for help on their mobile phones in the past six months. “The calls are generally made after office hours … some even late in the night,” Mr. Hegde said.

Many of the callers sought their intervention for immediate treatment and about hospital staff not admitting patients. “We have been able to help many victims in quick time. Lokayukta police officers in various districts have come in handy for this purpose,” Mr. Goud said.

Working

The helpline will be manned by two Lokayukta officials during the day, while a head constable and a police constable will be on duty at night. The help cell will be given telephone numbers of all government hospitals in the State, the contact details of medical superintendents and higher officials in the Health Department. It will have numbers of the Superintendents of Police (Lokayukta) in different districts. “The hospital staff will be asked to attend to patients. These calls will have to be given all the seriousness similar to the calls made by me or the Lokayukta. Those not responding to the calls will be warned and enquired into. We will intervene in cases where the helpline personnel find it difficult to handle,” Mr. Goud said.

Complaints

The helpline will be used to register complaints against corrupt officials.

According to Additional Director-General of Police (Lokayukta) R.K. Datta, the person receiving the call will enter all the details about the officials accused of corruption. “This includes information on officials who are in possession of assets disproportionate to their income,” he said.

The information will be entered in the computer and will be forwarded for investigation. “This will be in addition to a facility that is being created on the website http://lokayukta.kar.nic.in for giving vital information about officials,” he said. The helpline will work similar to the way the police control room works. “But the difference will be in the way the calls are handled … it will be more humane,” Mr. Hegde said. The facility will come into effect within the next three months.

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