Visakhapatnam: First among government ports in the country, an electronic measurement book (EMB) will be introduced by the Vigilance wing of Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) for easy fund transactions and to avoid delay in payments to contractors. VPT is among the 12 major ports in the country.
The Vigilance department initiated the advanced system to handle the complaints by use of secured technology. This would be helpful to contractors and VPT management to check corruption and other irregularities in relation to billing and payments involving transactions in crores.
The Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) has been using the EMB system for the past three years. VPT chief vigilance officer Pradeepkumar and his team studied the system in recent months and would adopt it shortly. Kumar said, “We would implement the system before April next. VPT will be the first port to be doing this.”
Currently, the contractors approach the Vigilance as and when there is a delay in payment, which is often kept pending for months. Once the EMB system is introduced, many transactions will be cleared within hours.
“On an average, we annually receive 30-35 complaints relating to issues like billing, payments, recruitment etc. Though we resolve them within one month to six months, there should be some advanced systems like the EMB for bringing transparency in the business,” Kumar opined.
This apart, an App will shortly be introduced for VPT employees for easy lodging complaints. This service would subsequently be extended to the general public.
“We are facing a problem of anonymous complaints. Unless there is the name and the issue is serious, pursuing such cases will be a waste of time for both the Vigilance and the complaint-maker. We are introducing a Public Interest Disclosure and Protection of Informer Resolution system to check anonymous complaints,” Kumar added.
Complaints-tracking at VPT Vigilance
Year – Total Complaints - Pending
2019 – 48 – 33
2020- 83 – 22
2021- 33 - 18