With Transfer of a Strict Commissioner, Will MCC Once Again Become ‘M-angaluru C-orrupt C-entre’?

“Hephsiba Rani Korlapati was a transparent officer, always working 14 hours a day. We thought under her leadership, Mangaluru will develop, but the corporators of ruling Congress party didn’t allow her to do her duties effectively. Hephsiba was against corruption, and I guess the corporators didn’t like it. For a good and transparent officers there is no future here in Mangaluru. Ministers, MLAs, MLCs, MPs could have intervened and stopped her transfer, but they never bothered. Was Janardhan Poojary sleeping when this transfer order was issued. I think due to internal politics, Hephsiba was forced to get transferred. This has proved that good officers can’t survive in Mangaluru” – Monappa Bhandary, BJP Leader

Mangaluru: No doubt at all, that she was a God sent Commissioner who was all set to weed out the corrupt activities at the Mangaluru City Corporation. But many greedy councillors/corporators who thought that they would not be able to make some side money through bribes or other corrupt ways were looking for some ways to get this strict and transparent Commissioner out- and they succeeded in their efforts. Barely after five months of posting, CM Siddaramaiah and the State government has transferred Commissioner of the Mangaluru City Corporation Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, IAS, as the Chief Executive Officer, Vijayapura Zilla Panchayat. Indeed a sad news for the citizens of Mangaluru who had great faith and trust in Hephsiba that she would change the whole system at MCC and make it a CORRUPT FREE administration. But with politics and money playing a big role in the quick transfer of Commissioner Hephsiba, citizens can once again look forward in MCC going back to as “M-angaluru C-orrupt C-entre?”. Too sad.

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Yes, it is common that smaller municipalities/corporations tend to encourage corruption to take place within a local government. Smaller corporations require more local officials to represent and run the local government. With more officials, it is harder to keep tabs on each one and establish a decent administration and to monitor their activities. Small corporations may also have inadequate or insufficient policing and prosecution of corrupt local officials. This also encourages corruption to occur in local government because there is less likelihood of either getting caught or prosecuted, therefore, more officials may become dishonest or at least be tempted to. This is kind of corruption that confronts ordinary citizens in their daily lives when they’re not able to avail of services they are legitimately entitled to from the government – getting a birth certificate, registering a purchase of property, and many other services.

Just few months after Hephsiba took over as MCC Commissioner on January 1, 2015, there had been some sour relationship between her and some of the corporators. But she was not the only one to encounter such kind of bitter relationship between Commissioner and councillors in the history of MCC- sources reveal that Sameer Shukla, the first IAS officer to be at the helm as Commissioner of MCC also faced the same situation, who served only for a year from August 8, 2008 to May 28, 2009. It was Hephsiba’s strict procedures and running the administration as per the book of laws, that led into bitter relationships between the corporators and herself.

The Councillors belonging to the ruling Congress were not agreeing to abide by the rules set by this young 27-year-old Commissioner, and also didn’t like the way that she was treating them. The councillors whined that the commissioner was not giving any respect to the elderly corporators, and anyone of them wanted to see her in the office had to get prior permission. Some corporators even blamed on the commissioner that because of her policies that the development work was going slow. Some complained that Hephsiba was too bossy and never bothered to get along with them in a friendly manner.

But Hephsiba had always clarified on these allegations made by these councillors, saying that the complaints and allegations were baseless. Regarding getting appointment to see her in the office, is because she didn’t like the way someone barging into the office while she was busy doing something else. Which I think is the right thing to do being a responsible officer. Don’t we take prior permission when we want to see a district officer- then why special treatment for corporators when they want to meet their boss. Let them also follow some manners, like we all citizens do?

On charges that the Commissioner was at the centre of sole decision making and giving less responsibilities to the councillors, Hephsiba has clarified that she acted according to the book of laws/rules and systematically assigned responsibilities to the concerned corporators, unlike what her predecessors did earlier. The Commissioner has also clarified that what the corporators are blaming about no development has been done is not true, because various projects have been undertaken and completed during her leadership- to name a few projects, like the new solid waste management three-package system with door-to-door collection of garbage, controlling malaria in association with Mangalore Relief Society, and drainage upgrading before monsoon arrive. Then why all negative and wrong allegations on this sincere, dedicated and transparent commissioner. Is it out of hate or greed is the question to be addressed by senior congress leaders like Janardhan Poojary, ministers Vinay Kumar Sorake, U T Khader, Amarnath Shetty and the rest.

Its noted that on one occasion Janardhan Poojary and other congress ministers had fully supported Hephsiba when the congress corporators were raising issues on her-how come none of these VIPs intervened and convinced the CM to retain Hephsiba as the commissioner of MCC rather than transfer her. Seems like someone has played the tricks for personal gains. Also it seems like corrupt minded officials don’t want good and straight forward to be in the office. Everything has a beginning, and the beginning of corruption is never ending greediness. So, we have to change our thinking, we know that greed is a bad cause but we don’t apply this in our daily life.

There are only two things money can do, and that is to build a human life and to break a human life. Greed for money unveils that money controls your life and this means you are out of control of your own life, where greed takes over. Those who have control over money, this is when wisdom takes over with the root of compassion for your fellow human being. Greed knows no compassion, human respect, peace and true love because it bears the fruits of selfishness, pride, corruption, hate, division, falsehood, crime and spiritual murder. Greed does not come from a human heart or mind, it comes from the heart and mind of a self-destructive murderer, thief and liar, who has absolutely no compassion for the struggling poor and needy who lie before their gates on a daily basis throughout the world. Politicians and religious prosperity leaders are the sowers of this world’s most evil greedy seed.

Yes It’s quite right that corruption has become really necessary evil in our society either it would be political system, any government work or somewhere else. But who is responsible for this situation? Definitely us. We are the ones who gave bribe, took bribe because even leaders and corrupt persons comes from the society, if society is not corruption free then how can you expect to your country to be corruption free. So all we need to do is do our part well, do not be the part of corruption and make the people aware about it. By our continuous efforts definitely we will be corruption free one day.

Corruption is the major problem in our city, not just at MCC but also at other government agencies, which destroys our city’s success. Firstly we should stop giving bribes for any work. By giving bribes we can’t get true success. It comes only from honesty and hard work. Not only the person who takes bribes is corrupted but also the one who is ready to give the bribe for the completion of their work. If we think that the government is corrupted, it’s not the government. Because we are only electing our politician. We should choose the right one who is not corrupted to make our society a corruption free. Every one should go against corruption and when we are corruption free then only we can expect a corruption free society.

Wherever you go there is a corruption. You cannot complete any of your work without giving bribe. You can experience it well in government offices and MCC. From attender to higher position officer, most of them are corrupted. If you give bribe your work is done at the right time. Otherwise it is impossible. And I know that when I wanted my birth certificate for my OCI requirement, I had no other choice than bribe the clerk to get the certificate within two days, if not it would take days. I was reluctant to bribe, but since the birth certificate was needed soon, I broke the laws and bribed this official- which I think is very common at MCC.

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Corruption is something which we all should avoid, for our country to become a developed nation. Most importantly to make it a truth today’s youth is required to take the effective step in this direction. Moreover, it is also necessary to educate and inculcate such values in the younger generation that with span of time they know what is good for the betterment of their future. Beside this we should also take initiative to come forward and set an example for others. Although commissioner Hephsiba wanted to set an example of a corrupt-free officer and wanted to make MCC corrupt, but hate mongers stood against her and wanted her to be kicked out. Look at the society that we are living in and also look at the some of the corporators whom we voted into power are getting greedy and corrupted. According to me corruption is like oxygen for those people who got an habit of taking and I must say this words for those who take bribe, tip, or donation, or gift “A LEOPARD CAN’T CHANGE ITS SPOTS”..

Corruption is one of the deadly, undesirable and wicked sins that has been imposed on the innocent man by some hungry looking monsters. It is omnipresent, almost like a distorted, antithetical version of God for the present times. It doesn’t sound euphonious when we hear that it has not only led to the malfunctioning of the administrative system and poor law and order, but also some serious causes like poverty and red tapism, which has led to the society’s disability. It has distorted all values and made mincemeat of morality, truth and virtue. It has entered into every single aspect of our lives becoming all-pervasive just similar to the air we breathe. It is growing massively in huge proportions and there is barely any sphere of social, political, economic and even religious activity that is free from graft, fraud and corruption of some kind.

Hello my dear friends in my point of view corruption is not at all a necessary evil for success in any sphere of life. Although this commissioner who wanted to bring a change in the system of MCC and was trying to make it corrupt free, but all her efforts are gone in vain. In her absence we as citizens can play an ample role in eradicating corruption at MCC. First of all the mindset of people should be changed – common people should stop bribing the officers and those who take bribe, then strict actions should be taken against corrupt officers and they should be punished by the court then only some fear will occur in their minds. In this way we can stop corruption. Let’s not offer bribe to get our work done from any officials at MCC- if someone demands bribe report it to Lokayuktha department or law enforcement officials. Let’s follow in the footsteps of our ex-MCC commissioner Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, and fight to end corruption in MCC and also at other government offices.

My concern says no, corruption isn’t a necessary evil. Only coward people who doesn’t believe in their strength to fight against will say that. Yes we all, together can fight corruption. The very first thing is to change our mentality that we, the common people won’t get involved in any corruption because it is to believe that to reach at a high floor you will need small stairs to make the step easier. We do not need to be corrupted to be successful in life. Rather we all have to be hard working which in turn will be good for our country too. Side by side if there is something like “LOKPAL BILL” in our country and there is awareness campaign against it in the illiterate areas I think corruption will find death soon.

15 Comments

  1. It is a very unfortunate story.

    We talk of corruption bbbbut we elect the corrupt people. Don’t blame the corporators.

    It is WE who elected them.

    Let us blame ourself.

  2. Shame on the big-bulllies who bulldozed this officer out.
    We are proud of you Ms. Korlapatti.
    You stuck to your guns and refused to be bullied by the shameless hypocrites!
    They may have transferred you but they could not beat you!

  3. This is what discourages young generations to take up civil services. They say they dont like to be kicked as footballs!!! Who is responsible for this ??? How and where do we start. The ones we believe and elect change their colour after winning the election. Best wishes to Madam Hephsiba Rani Korlapati

  4. She Came, She Saw, She Conquered the hearts of the Mangalore Citizens….Too sad that cruel and wicked people made her to go away from here.

    Shame on our MCC Councillors who couldn’t handle a transperant officer. Wishing best of luck to Korlapati on her new job assignment.

  5. In my belief, while democracy has many flaws, the party-based representation is the beginning of all evil.
    The party candidates have the numbers to play all sorts of games to make the life of citizens a hell.

    A governing body – particularly at the corporation level – can function effectively if the corporators are all independent, and have no party affiliation.

    I do believe the Mangalurians must elect independent candidates in greater numbers, and dump all the party candidates.

  6. The caption of this article says it all–Corruption will creep in now. Corrupt officials will never allow a good and honest officer to finish her term.

    Great article by the author.

  7. We have seen how corporators of mangalore city corporation manipulate fund for helping their community /vote bank . Take the glaring example of Sanyasigudda in Court ward. A sum of over 1 crore has been spent to concretise a private road haphazardly with out proper planning for underground drainage/ water line connection and another 25 Lakhs is being spent for drainage works despite an high court order clearly stating that the land is a private land and the MCC is permitted to maintain the road without affecting the rights of the owners. Clearly the corporator has some of his community members residing there as well as a powerful ex-MUDA chairman . Further the work was awarded to another party worker itself for majority of the works… Is it necessary to spend so much on private roads when the Main Arya Samj road is itself paved with interlocks and does not have a proper drainage system???

  8. Its a shame that the corporators whom we elected should act in such a way in trying to get rid of a very efficient, dedicated, strict and transparent commissioner, that MCC had seen in a long time. Shame on these greedy councillors.

    Citizens of Mangaluru will surely miss this commissioner who was trying to bring a change in the MCC and also for the growth of the city. Wish Hephsiba Rani Korlapati all success in her new post in Vijayapura- I only wish the people there respect her and keep her till her term is over. May God bless this young ex-commissioner of ours.

  9. Dear Alfie,
    Your articles are brilliant & worth reading. All of us should try our best to make a difference by educating and inculcating good values in our lives. Thank you and I congratulate you & your team for promoting awareness to fight against corruption..

  10. ~Mangal

    If all candidates are independent how will the consensus be formed on any policy objective? There won’t be a common ground so the system will be stuck in a gridlock. If no 2 people agree on one matter how is the corporation/government going to work? Everyone will blame the other and the common man will be the loser – for this reason even coalition government is not a good idea. Whether we like it or not, there has to be a majority government if at all we want the country to progress. In that sense parties do play a role, as killjoy parties will be held accountable at the following elections if they start playing tantrums – just see how people taught BJP a lesson in the last state elections. There is no other better form of governance which can remotely have a semblance of fairness when there are only finite resources. In the short term though there can be such problems which we have to learn to live with.

  11. The Cong I sheep did not like Hepsheeb[a]. Kurilgalu saar kurigalu.Poojary joker can focus on widows performing Pooja. Nalin Kumar can gloat with his record of ‘best MP’ from Karnataka. Why did the BJP corporators did not make any big noise? WERE THEY ALSO INVOLVED HAND IN GLOVE WITH THE CORRUPT CONG I? Yes. HAND IN GLOVE. Sorry for the capital usage. I am sure Mr B N Pai does not mind it as it is too common for him to use the capitals. After all his party was in the capital for long. In fact too long. Cong I needs to be uprooted and thrown out.

    • Drona says – Both Congress and BJP are hand in glove. So only Congress should be rooted and thrown out. But not BJP. Because it is his own(RSS) party.
      Dronaji, please wait for Bihar assembly elections. BJP will be rooted, God willingly. Just be little patient. The downfall of BJP will start from Bihar God willingly.

  12. An elected body of representatives in a corporation serves a purpose not much different to that of a board in an organisation.

    The board in an organisation represents the shareholders, and oversees the major actions of the management. Board’s authority comes from the shareholders. Board’s actions should ultimately benefit the shareholders.

    Where a board exists, the shareholders cannot directly take the management to task.

    In a similar manner, the elected representatives in a corporation are expected to serve the interests of the electorate. Electorate has no power to take bureucrats to task. Bureaucrats report to the elected representatives.

    Imagine what would happen if the board members in an organisation acted a ‘party’! They could do things contrary to the interests of the shareholders.

    Same way, the elected representatives would be helpful to the electorate if such representatives always discussed the issues with the electorate, and not with other elected reps.

    Just like a board, every decision of the corporators is put to vote. If there is a majority of votes, the decision then carries and becomes binding on all.

    On the other hand, in a party system, the electorate is completely ignored. And the corporators have every opportunity to become a bunch of rogues.

  13. May God bless the author for a befitting article on MCC Commissioner and Corruption at MCC. Our country will never grow with corrupt officials managing the show.

    Best of luck to Hephsiba R Korlapati in her new designation at Vijayapura- I only hope her colleagues there would respect her and love her.

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