Delhi's new graft helpline flooded; Kejriwal vows to do more

The Delhi government's helpline to report cases of corruption was flooded with calls on its inaugural day; the number was 4,000 and rising by late afternoon on Thursday. Moreover, officials in the chief minister's office said that they were getting around 3,000 written complaints since Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Admi Party took over the state government.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told newspersons that the 15 operators could only field 824 of the calls. And of these, only 54 proved genuine, with actionable complaints against officials. Another 15 refused to participate in any 'sting' action.

Nonetheless, Kejriwal promised to increase both the number of lines and the manpower to handle them. ''We are increasing the number of seats to 30, and the lines from 30 to 60, by tomorrow. We will also launch a [simpler] four-digit number in a few days,'' he said.

Moving full steam ahead on the Aam Admi Party's electoral promises, Kejriwal also announced that his entire cabinet will meet the public ''on the road'' across the Delhi secretariat in a 'janata durbar', hearing complaints and seeking to solve them as soon as possible.

Moreover, from Monday to Saturday between 9.30 and 11 am, one minister will receive grievances from the public and forward them to the departments concerned.

"Public grievance is a major issue for any government. It is the duty of every government to resolve those grievances,'' Kejriwal said.

''Public grievance is just a symptom, the disease lies somewhere else," he added.

Kejriwal said grievances will be segregated into five categories depending upon their urgency. "Urgent cases like those related to school admissions or admission to a hospital will be resolved on the spot. In the next category, ministers will mention the timeframe to resolve the grievance.

''Those related to policy matters will require time. They will be forwarded to the ministers concerned for their consideration,'' he said.

The third category will be suggestions from the public. A team will be formed to look into them and regularly forward the best of the suggestions to the chief minister. The last category is miscellaneous, for issues which are not related to the government, he added.

In a lighter vein, Kejriwal said recently a woman came to him to complain that her boyfriend was not marrying her. "I told her that even I cannot help her in this matter even if I try."

Kejriwal said that unlike previous governments, he will not go by the compliance reports filed by the officials and will ensure that the complainant is absolutely satisfied.