TODAY -

Fighting corruption remains an uphill task
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: June 11, 2022 -



IT is getting increasingly clear that chief minister N Biren is highly perturbed and perplexed as instances of departmental negligence, corrupt practices to be precise, continue to crop up in-spite of his firm resolve to end institutional wrongdoings.

By venting angst at officers of departments of revenue and forest, who were allegedly involved in allotting land document (patta) in wetland and Reserved Forest Areas of the state, during the interaction programme held on Thursday, it has become evident that the chief minister is getting utterly frustrated as his endeavour of tackling the menace of favouritism and nepotism continues to face roadblocks.

The incumbent chief minister holding discussions on issues regarding the implementation of provisions of the Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, i960 with officials of forest and revenue departments underscores his effort to cleanse corruption from the system of governance.

His remarks during the interaction programme that government officials do not belong to any particular community and they are duty-bound to serve the public irrespective of community and religion testify that not all the officials in some major departments are discharging their duties with sincerity and transparency to save the forest and paddy lands of the state.

However, taking into account of the fact that only a handful of officials, including one retiree, have been arrested in connection with allotment of land document in Waithou reserved forest area in-spite of numerous cases of encroachment on government, forest and prime agricultural land, it could be safely stated that mere reprimanding of the officials wouldn't end the culture of corruption.

Encroachers found possessing land documents as and when eviction drives are carried out in forest areas or along the river banks are clear and hard evidences that forest and revenue department officials deserve more than mere warning.

As price of homestead land has been mounting everywhere, the yearning to take possession of unoccupied land plot is understandable. For wealthy individuals presence of officials of departments concerned, who are on the lookout for easy money, acquiring land is rather an effortless process.

To corrupt officials and greedy individuals, the CM's emphasis that officials should make the public aware of certain Acts implemented to conserve the forest and agricultural lands would make no difference, unless the government strictly monitor land allotment process and demonstrate that those found misusing his/her official position wouldn't be spared.

Notably, one of the participants candidly stating during the interacting programme that sub-ordinate officials work at the behest and directive of the higher authorities could be assumed as confirmation about corruption deeply entrenched in the state.

As per the comments on his Facebook post, CM Biren has taken serious note of Dag Chithas issued to individuals as well as non-existent people in Reserved Forest Areas, government office plot and land in hill areas.

Thus, the only option left for the government to eradicate the scourge of corruption in the state is to order thorough investigation and initiatestringent punitive action against the confirmed culprits, without which it is likely that the frequent assertions to make government institutions function efficiently would be construed as merely lip-service.



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