Corruption allegations have spelled trouble for TMC Government whose image continues to be tarnished by the repeated claims of corruption in West Bengal. Taking lesson from several controversies recently, the TMC is now looking at a total overhaul. They are now shifting their focus on emphasising on a ‘clean image drive’ across departments.
The recent Cabinet reshuffle seems to be a clear reflection that the party wants clean new faces to run the show. With eight new faces in the ministry, all eyes on the rejig to see if it would bring significant change to TMC’s image or not. Sources say the communication has been sent across departments that a bulk of the transaction should be done online.
The West Bengal Transport Ministry is one such department where transparency is the need of the hour, a number of complaints have come to light alleging how middleman play a key role in indulging in bribes and in turn betraying customers. The ministry was led by Suvendu Adhikary and was taken over by Firhad Hakim after he quit TMC to join BJP. As part of the TMC overhaul, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has now replaced Firhad Hakim with a new face – Snehasish Chakraborty who is currently serving as the Transport Minister.
Snehashish Chakraborty, a young leader from Hooghly, has vowed to bring about major reforms within the department and has promised to rid the department of corruption. He has also promised to provide “better citizen services” to people.
Speaking to News18 Chakraborty said, “Corruption originates from people engaging with middleman. For instance, if someone wants to get an approval from the RTO and it costs 15,000, a middleman would do the job quickly for you, but charges 50,000 for the same. To prevent this from happening, we have planned to take this entire process online. People will be able to get this approval sitting at home.”
“The common concern is that approvals and processes at places like the RTO take a long time and involve standing in long queues. This then becomes the breeding ground for middlemen who people fall prey to,” Chakraborty said.
According to the TMC Transport Minister, while an online system exits, “there is a need to make it more efficient so that people can sit in front of a computer and upload their details online and get the approval via courier.”
Sources say this ‘clean image drive’ will also be implemented across departments which will adopt different strategies and formats.
In the first cabinet meeting after the reshuffle, Mamata is said to have told her new cabinet to focus on maintaining a clean image and maintain transparency as a priority. The Transport Ministry’s move is said to be the aftermath of this advice by CM Mamata.
While the TMC looks to better the government’s image as ‘corrupt’, Mamata hopes the clean drive across Departments would be a ticket to bettering the state’s image.