The State Government has now decided to take help of private detective agencies to keep a watch and gather info about the assets of corrupt officials.
The State Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule made the announcement after meeting corruption crusader Anna Hazare. While speaking to reporters, Bawankule said, “A private vigilance agency has been asked by the Ministry to keep a watch over corrupt officers in the department. We took this decision after complaints of graft and growing salesand distribution of illicit liquor. I have also asked the agency to collect information about the assets owned by the officials and admitted that the envelope culture, in other words accepting bribes exists in the department.”
“We have appointed a private detective agency to keep a tab on the envelope system. The agency will also collect information about the officials' wealth as of today and how much it grew since they joined the department. Even as the new government has come to power two-and-half-years back, the envelope system is still rampant in the state. We will take every effort to end this,” he added.
Bawankule also pulled up State Excise officials for the incident in Pangarmal in Ahmednagar district where eight people died after consuming country-made liquor in February this year. He said, “You could have avoided Pangarmal incident. Henceforth, if there is a repeat of such incident, we will hold all officials responsible for it. To keep a check on sale and distribution of illicit liquor, the State Government has amended the Maharashtra Prohibition Act that will empower the gram sabha to constitute a squad at the village level. The squad referred as gram rakshak dal, which has a legal backing, will help the excise department in curbing sale and distribution of illicit liquor.”
“The excise department officials will have to act on complaints submitted by the village level squads within 12 hours, else they will face action,” the Minister further pointed out.