| Chief minister Nitish Kumar at the review meeting at Samvad Bhavan in Patna on Thursday. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday instructed the Patna district magistrate to take “strict action” against touts fleecing innocent people at government offices.
Nitish’s order came a day after The Telegraph reported the return of the middlemen at the district transport office and block office after lying low for nearly three weeks following raids by the district administration.
District magistrate Sanjay Kumar Singh said: “The chief minister has given strict instruction to tackle the touts and ensure the smooth functioning of the RTPS Act. He has instructed the senior superintendent of police (SSP) to take action against the touts or any officer found involved with the middlemen.”
The Right to Public Service (RTPS) Act pledges services within a stipulated time. However, the touts in the state capital have been fleecing the common man, ignorant of the RTPS Act, on the pretext of getting their work done faster.
Singh added that immediate action would be taken against the touts, with supervision of senior police officers, in case of complaints of activities of touts.
Nitish also instructed to carry out continuous raids at all block offices to stop the movement of touts. “Though the chief minister did not fix any time frame, he emphasised on conducting continuous raids and punishing the touts,” Singh said.
The Telegraph has carried a series of reports since last month about the involvement of touts at the district transport office and the block office. The district administration had conducted raids and arrested a dozen touts.
The middlemen are not just active in areas coming under the purview of the RTPS Act but also in the power sector, prompting Nitish to express concern over the involvement of touts in replacing damaged transformers.
Singh said: “While reviewing the functioning of the energy department, the chief minister instructed the SSP and the SP (rural) to take strict action against the touts involved in replacing the burnt transformers.”
The chief minister, Singh said, asked officials to strengthen the information system regarding burnt transformers and pass it to the level of general manager of Patna Electric Supply Undertaking.
Nitish also instructed Bihar State Electricity Board to provide consumers with a helpline number where they can complain about involvement of touts and corrupt officials in the energy department.