The drive against corruption that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has launched to clean-up the service sectors should continue undeterred. Corruption is the main impediment to progress and the drive is a must if we are to successfully achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in due time.
There is no alternative to uprooting corruption in the country in order to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for development in all sectors, particularly the Utility Service Sectors. Utility Services like Titas Gas and WASA are currently under the scanner of the ACC and Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) respectively for their substandard performance in providing service to the people.The sources of corruption at Titas were found to include illegal connection, illegal link renegotiation, meter tampering, etc. Illegal gas connections are a major corruption source responsible for around six per cent of system loss. Those trying to get legal connections are forced to take the illegal path for quick service.
Investigations have unearthed that city residents have to deal with poor service, corruption, dissatisfaction and irregularities from the water and sewerage authorities in providing service to the people. Lack of good governance, integrity and ongoing corruption that has become institutionalised and thus the people suffer.
The very title ‘service’ denotes that those sectors are meant to serve the people and provide them with certain unhindered benefits and service so that they may focus attention towards more important jobs without worry. Residents should not have to endure the stress of getting up in the morning to find that they cannot cook breakfast because of disturbance in the gas or water supply. The productivity of people reduces under undue stress related to mundane daily living. For increased productivity of people, uninterrupted basic necessities of daily life must be made available at both economic and mental ease.
In a drive against graft by the ACC, a corrupt official of the Health Department was arrested and the ACC has seized his property. Service sectors like Health and Education, and Utility Sectors like WASA and Titas, should be pulled up by their bootstraps to ensure they deliver optimum service.
Appointing neutral persons, setting an age-limit for contractual jobs and to keep the drainage management department under one authority is suggested for good coordination and performance.