- Honest Officer
- 5 years ago
- 2050 views
In Nov '12, I visited Joint Sub-registrar office at Bhiwandi,Maharashtra for registration of my sale agreement.
The appointment was taken by e-token system by the builders' rep and I was supposed to meet him at 09:30 am.
I arrived at the office at 09:00 hrs and met him . I assumed it would take a couple of hours for my turn to come up (going by general experience at Govt offices ) and took his word for it.
While I inquired my status about every 1 hr , I was repeatedly told "abhi aapka number aa jayage saab.... naya system chaalu hai naa "and so on.
It soon became 01:20 pm, I was feeling hungry and fast losing patience. While I asked my builder's rep if I could go for lunch and come back in time, he would tell me to just hang on for a while I could see people jumping the imaginary queue. I just couldn't muster enough courage to ask what this mess was having grown up seeing such.
Taking out a sheet of paper I was carrying with me ,I jotted a letter requesting the Joint sub-registrar ( there were no uniforms,no ID cards..was it even the correct person I was addressing the letter to !!) for my turn number / sequential number in queue ( was not even sure what to call this number ) . I slipped the paper carefully before the Joint Sub registrar while I feared that I could jeopardize my appointment for the day , may be ,anger the powers , may kick up a storm disturbing the fine "understanding" between the builder's reps (aka agents) and the staff at the office and stuff even worse.
Seeing the paper,the look on the official's face was something worth remembering. I .could make out she couldn't read English just as I couldn't Marathi much.She summoned her sub and gave him a look of --" What mess are you landing me in , take care of this right now".
There was a ruffle, heads moved and three things happened to me almost immediately :-
1. Got a chair to sit in.
2. Was offered a cup of chai.
3. I knew that none would jump the queue at least till I am done.
During my next three hours while sitting in the office , I witnessed a few things .The officials took just 15 min to have their lunch , that too at 3:00 pm. I pitied them . The office was dilapidated, the toilets stinking , piles of dusty files reaching the ceilings and so on.People trying to jump the queue by whispering sweet somethings over the shoulders of the "agents" were shown the door saying "dekho saab yeh complaint bhi kiye hai ", while I mused to myself sitting in my prized chair "That was not even a complaint " . Then, as time approached 4:00 pm, while I got myself photographed and fingerprinted, the room was full of frustrated citizens venting off at the Joint Sub registrar who were then being cajoled out from the office by "agents" telling them "kal pakka hojayega ". I walked out at 4:30 pm .Portraits of the First family and Mahatma Gandhi hung high in the office smiled at me.
Summary: Next time you visit a Govt. office and see you can't find your number in the queue,try writing a letter requesting from the officer-in-charge for the same.Don't be the angry man, do it decently.
Yes, we are still a long way from seeing a day when loose money doesn't have to be offered to "agents" to complete the "formalities"at these offices.
In early 2013, followed up above with an RTI appln enquiring about identification/uniform if any provided to staff at the above office, facilities provided to citizens and staff especially towards sanitation