Orissa dance fares well in RTI

SAMBALPUR, Dec. 17: Orissa holds a prestigious position as far as as the much hyped Right to Information (RTI) is concerned. The performance of the state in accepting applications and their disposal is outstanding. At the same time its performance has also been highly acclaimed by international bodies, Mr DN Padhi, the chief information commissioner (CIC) of Orissa said here today.

The activity of the commission has also crossed the boundaries of the country since the World Bank and other international organisations have acclaimed its performances. It may be mentioned here that in October, the chief commissioner was honoured by the World Bank at its headquarters in Washington DC.

“The state has finalised 830 cases in just one and a half years which is a leading figure in India,” Mr Padhi said. But the CIC lamented that common men, villagers and the civil society are yet to take advantage of the law. “It is seen that in most of the cases, government servants are seeking information regarding their personal matters like promotion, gratuity etc,” Mr Padhi said.

When people will seek information as to implementation of different welfare schemes, social programmes, construction of roads, drains in NACs, municipalities or villages; the very purpose behind the implementation of RTI would be served. At the same time, it would reduce the expenditure of the projects.

Financial punishments have been awarded to various high ranking officers in the state recently by the commission. This has spread panic among the neglecting officers. “But I am not punishing anybody, but only trying to help the people and the state,” Mr Padhi said.

“Since I have taken over the charge as the chief information commissioner, I have restricted socialising for the fact that the commission is a court and I want to maintain its dignity,” Mr Padhi said.

The Statesman