As reported by Nitin Brahme in on 28 August 2011:

PCMC’s Right to Mis-information!

When independent corporator Sarika Landge used RTI to seek information on the civic works being undertaken in her ward, the civic body told her that it spent ` 41.68 lakh on storm water drain work in 2008. However, she claims that the work in question is non-existent

Independent corporator Sarika Landge says she filed the RTI application to seek information on all civic works undertaken in her area since January 2006

The Right to Information (RTI) Act is generally used to seek the truth. But when Sarika Landge, an independent corporator with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), used the Act to find out the works being undertaken in her ward, let alone being informed, she was quite frankly misinformed. She was told by the PCMC that it spent Rs 41.68 lakh on some storm water drain work in 2008, when in fact, no such work was ever undertaken in Sadgurunagar. The civic body had made the payment for ‘dummy’ work in her ward, alleged the corporator.

Landge said, “I made an RTI application on August 2, 2011 and found that the PCMC spent Rs 41,68,000 on non-existent storm water drain work in Sadgurunagar, Bhosari.

Landge said that she filed the application to seek information on all civic works done in her area since January 2006.

“Forget storm water lines, the civic body claims that it has made other payments as well — Rs 2,31,000 on paving blocks and Rs 4, 42,000 on laying some drainage lines — but proof of any such work does not exist,” said the corporator.

PCMC commissioner Ashish Sharma said, “It is not how the corporator is making it out to be. We have asked the city engineer to inquire into the matter.”

Mayor Yogesh Behl too said that he has directed the city engineer’s office to conduct an enquiry. “The issue was also brought up in the general body meeting. I have asked the authorities to submit a report in this regard within a month,” he said.

Maruti Bhapkar, another independent corporator, said, “It is a serious allegation. The administration should conduct a detailed probe into the matter.”

RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said, “In this case, the information is not completely false. PCMC says that it has paid the bills, but no such work has been undertaken. So the corporator should conduct an inspection under Section 6 of the RTI Act. She can also ask for the work orders, tender notices and measurement books.”