Pune Municipal Corporation is boasting about its record tax collection. But are you paying the property tax at higher rate? Is your tax invoice correct? Is your conveyance deed application pending with PMC since years? Check out this Right to Information success story where a senior citizen battled with egovernance savvy Pune Municipal Corporation who acted as blind as a bat to his applications pending since 2003. Records are managed in a pitiable condition exposed this RTI application.<O</O
Sudhakar Dandawate, a senior citizen, is resident of Tulip Apartments, Mrutyunjay society, Kothrud Pune. He retired from military services. Tulip apartments is five flat abode to seniors like him. They jointly filed society deed of declaration and requested flat wise bills to PMC authorities on May 12, 2003. It derived no response but still we pay our corporation taxes regularly, said these senior citizens. Frustrated with this attitude of tax department of PMC, on December 31, 2007, Dandawate filed an application under RTI Act 2005. This application was returned by postal authorities with a comment not taken or address not found. This returned application was re-sent to Pune Municipal Commissionerate praying information about action taken on their application dated May 12, 2003. This time it was accepted and was confirmed as delivered by speed post agency.
RTI act 2005 stipulates public information officer to provide information in 30 calendar days but PMC maintained the silence and showed their thick skin, experienced this ex-serviceman. This silence was broken when PMC authorities received an appeal under section 19(1) of RTI act 2005. Tax department directed field officers to run for cover. They obtained extra copy of deed of declaration from applicant as they couldn’t find originally submitted documents in PMC record.
Appeal Number 14/2008 was fixed on March 26, 2008 at PMC head quarters. After hearing both the parties and perusal of papers appellate authority found that public information officer failed to furnish written reply to RTI application. The request originally submitted in 2003 was required to be attended by employees responsible at that time and show-cause notice should be issued to them for delaying citizen’s work, was further ordered in order dated March 26, 2008. After obtaining extra set of records from applicant, PMC tax officials pleaded that deed of declaration and flat wise bills are ready now and appellate authority passed an order to share the information within 15 days of this order.
Appellant was represented by Avinash Murkute in appeal.