Bureaucrats have eyes closed to corruption: Omar

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Jammu, Jan 27 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief MinisterOmar Abdullah today pulled up bureaucrats for failing to takeon the "monster" of corruption, saying the officials weresitting with their "eyes, ears and mouths" shut to graft andnepotism around them.

Noting that J and K was in the second position in thelist of most corrupt states of the country, Abdullah saidcorruption has to be weeded out from the top.

"Today, we are number two (in the list of most corruptstates of the country)... In this battle to stop corruption,we are equally responsible," Omar told the 10th state-levelconference organised by the Jammu and Kashmir State VigilanceOrganisation here.

He lamented that officials were sitting with their"eyes, ears and mouths shut to the corruption and nepotismaround them".

"Although the responsibility lies with me... the buckstops here... the buck of responsibility. So be it. The buckstops with me. But it starts with you (officials)," Omarsaid.

"We have to think out of box measures. What we havebeen doing to curb corruption have not delivered much results.

We have got several suggestions and we want to work in thatdirection," he said.

On the efforts of State Vigilance Organisation tocheck corruption, he said, "It is an area of continuingconcern for me and a lot of personal dissatisfaction for me.

We have not done as much as we should have."

The Chief Minister said, "It is not good enough totrap somebody taking Rs 5,000 when we cannot trap somebodytaking in lakhs. This is pretty much the story today".

"From highways, where trucks are queued up for mintingmoney, to ration cards, state subjects, land mutation toillegal electricity connections-- there is an endless list. Itis this corruption that irritates people," he said.

Omar said, "We have not been able to make a sufficientdent. We really need to make more efforts to check it and itis to be checked from the top."

The Chief Minister said there was a need to put inplace a transfer policy and strictly implement it. "Becausethe institutional system that has started functioning...

transfers and postings are done on grounds other than meritand it fails the system."

Asking the officials to take on the "monster" ofcorruption in J&K, he said, "There is need for a strong will.

The silence of the honest people and the actions of thedishonest-- both affect us." PTI AB RT GSN

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