Rs 56,268 for info under RTI
Reported in " Mid Day" (nov,02,2006)
The Right to Information (RTI) Act came as a relief for the common man who wanted to extract information from the government. But the information comes with a heavy price tag, as advocate Vinod Sampat discovered on October 21.
He was told that he would have to pay Rs 56,268 for the information he wanted on the collector’s property in Mumbai and its suburbs from the Urban Land Ceiling Authority (ULCA).
“I am sure the information that I have sought won’t exceed 200 pages. Under RTI, every page costs Rs 2. As per their bill, there would have to be 28,000 pages of information,” said Sampath.
But the ULCA authorities claim this is not an illogical amount, as the files run into thousands of pages and photocopying the information requires a huge amount.
ULCA has cases where the bill goes up to a lakh. According to a senior ULCA official, “Information about property cases runs into many files. If the information asked for isn’t specific, it ends up in a voluminous number of pages.” Moreover, in such cases, the public information officer usually asks people to personally scrutinise the information and pay inspection charges of Rs 5 per hour.
Presented with such a huge bill, Sampat is now planning to compile the information on a CD, as the RTI charges Rs 25 per CD.
Though Sampat has found an alternative, at this rate the RTI will hardly be of any use to the common man
The news reported above gives us some interesting tips to reduce the cost:
1. Ask for information/details in a precise and specific manner
2. Where the information sought is voluminous, seek it in a CD format
3. For voluminous documents, opt for scrutiny/inspection of document
Thaks for practical conclusion.