Justice Santosh Hedge, Former Lokayukta, Keynote Speaker at Construction World Annual Awards 2011N Santosh Hegde was a Supreme Court judge from the year 1999 till 2005 when he retired. He was conferred the honorary doctorate of law by Mangalore University in 2005 and was appointed as Lokayukta of Karnataka state on August 3, 2006 for a term of five years. Keynote Speaker at the 9th Construction World Annual Awards 2011, this humble personality talks about the need for following ethical practices in the industry.In a profession where so many monetary transactions take place daily; there is a need to have certain written ethics. There should be a committee not only to lay down these ethics but to also oversee their implementation. In the past few months, there has been an agitation in the country for the appointment of a Lokpal bill at the Centre. This was first proposed by the Administrative Reforms Commission of 1966, but no government had the desire to bring in this law. In October 2010, when the government proposed the draft, it was found to be totally defective. The Act is now sought to be drafted by civil community members; they want a strong Lokpal.In the process of discussing the draft bill, many questions were raised. Will the Lokpal institution abolish corruption in the government or in business connected with the government? The answer is an emphatic no! Corruption has existed since the evolution of civilisation. It's not the existence but the growth of corruption that causes the problem.Around 60 years ago, five fingers of your hand were enough to count the corrupt in the society. Those five fingers are relevant even today; but to count the honest. That is how corruption has grown in every walk of life. The institution of Lokpal in such a scenario will contain corruption. If it had been instituted in 1970, corruption would have most probably been at the 1970s' level. If five fingers were enough in 1950 to count the corrupt, the zeros were one or two, but in today's 2G scam of Rs 1,00,076 crore, how many zeroes are there? The inflation of the bribe must be contained. Therefore, it is necessary to follow certain ethics in every walk of life and to have an institution to oversee the implementation of these ethics.There are a number of allegations against builders. There is a lot of room for improvement. The ethics committee will prevent some of the competition inter se amongst builders, which is the main cause of corruption. There should be transparency and accountability at every stage. These factors are applicable to all professions. It's a perception of society that a large percentage of black money is invested in the construction business. That perception has to be removed.I have presented two reports with regard to mining in Karnataka where unimaginable things are happening. The whole system has been changed by a handful of people, and the loss caused to the state exchequer is Rs 16,000 crore. This is taking into account only the share of the government. At least five major builders in Karnataka have been found guilty for the violation of building norms. These are areas you must improve. You must also look into the interests of workers.In Karnataka, owing to the lack of policy, illegal mining of sand is prevalent. The sand that is picked is filtered by passing pressure water and sold as filtered sand; construction goes on with that sand. The binding strength of this sand is negligible, yet it is purchased by builders. Three years ago, I had sent a report to the government to have a sustainable mining policy and prevent the violations of these ethics - but action is yet to be taken on this.