Talati seeks ‘small’ bribe for developmental projects

Revenue Minister calls for report from the collector after video goes viral on social media

Palanpur: A video of a talati asking for a bribe has gone viral on social media. The video shows the talati of Bhatvar village in Vav taluka of Banaskantha district stating that a bribe of 7-8% of the project cost is the ‘standard norm’ for allotting developmental work contracts. The state plans to investigate the allegations made and based on that report, take action.

When a contractor approached the talati Satish Darji seeking work, he was told, “I only asked for 5% of the total cost of the project. The standard norm is 7-8%. I am not greedy and will make do with whatever I get. Rest assured that your work will be done.”

In the video, the contractor is seen handing over Rs7,500 to the talati.

“This is not an isolated case,” says Vav Taluka Panchayat President Kanuji Thakor. He added, “I have raised concerns over such issues of irregularities in the past but, no action has been taken against people engaging in such corrupt practices.”

While speaking to the media, Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel said, “The moment we came to know about the viral video, the District Collector asked us to collect all information regarding the matter and submit a report. The state government will take appropriate action based on the Collector’s final report.”

Meenaben Ghadia, President of Banaskantha District Panchayat, also said that the matter will be taken up before the District Development Officer and it will be demanded that strict action be taken against those responsible.