Towards Good Governance
I worked as Director General of Police, Tripura, for just more than two years but had the occasion to attend three annual meetings of the Directors Generals of Police/Central Police organizations. The then Prime Minister during introductions each time remarked that ‘Tripura is a very well governed state’. After returning back from each such meeting, I used to think as to what differentiates Tripura from other states. One aspect of this state’s working is that it has a very clean, committed and transparent administration. The political leadership has been very pro-people, non-corrupt and transparent.
Tripura has passed through more than three decades of insurgency which could be marginalised by people’s participation, political will, administrative preparedness, police valour and sacrifices. With people of the state being so ‘participative’ it is necessary for the state to give something more than what they are getting today. Let me give an example. I first went to UK in the year 2001 on a training programme. We had limited money and therefore travel by public transport was a must. The London Transport system has a common ticket for metro/tube/bus etc. As someone new, I did not know how to get it. On going to the ticket-counter, the notice board showed that two photographs and I.D. proof was required. I stood in the queue, waiting for my turn. I paid the money, gave the documents, and weekly ticket was in my hand. It took just a minute! I wondered in disbelief. Can this ever happen in India? Was it possible in India without giving ‘grease’ money? At that point of time, the answer was in the negative.
During my service period while dealing with members of public, personnel of my own organization, there is a repeated usage of the word ‘welfare’. Of what I understood in my career, is that ‘welfare’ refers to giving a person/beneficiary whatever is due to him in a given time. In fact, in my Sainik Sammellans, I used to openly announce that if some service benefit is due to you and I cannot deliver it in time, I am not worth my stars [rank].For force personnel it meant confirmation in service, increments, refresher-training,pre-promotioncourses,promotions,GPFloans/withdrawals, pension etc. etc. In my last assignment, that each personnel received his GPF dues within 30[thirty] days of his application, was critically reviewed. It had also to be ensured that a retiring personnel gets all his dues on the date of his superannuation. We were holding a small ceremony on the date of this/her superannuation-handing over relevant cheques -, for all ranks from class IV to DG.
Drawing parallel from the above, people of this state whose participation has been optimum, with a very committed and responsive administration, it should not be very difficult to ensure time-bound delivery of public services. This would do away with corruption, if any, at the cutting-edge and simultaneously instill fear among errant employees/supervisory officers, who fail to ensure delivery within the given time-frame. I am suggesting only as few police related services* which can be made time-bound;**
Sl. No. Services*Time
1.Verification of C & A for self/
domestic help/driver/tenant etc. Seven days
2.Gun-license verification. Fifteen days
3.Instant verification for passport. Three days
4.Driving License (Transport
Department Seven days
5.Documents for filing claim in
Motor Accident cases. Three days
6.Documents for filing Insurance
claims Three days
7.Recovery of longstanding missing
8.Security Audit of Banks, various factories/Industries.Thirty days
9.Providing personal security based on threat etc.Seven days
** The above list is just illustrative and not exhaustive.
I would like to reiterate that the above list is just illustrative and not exhaustive. In fact, in some states the police stations have been tasked to visit the place of occurrence for a particular crime, in a fixed time-frame, failing which they are accountable. I do not know what has come out of it, but such as beginning is required to be made. The earlier we start, the better!