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  1. #1
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    Dr. Pathak
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    Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.


    Government bodies are devising ingenious ways to discourage lay people from using the powerful Right to Information (RTI) Act. In the latest instance, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.

    Though the RTI Act was passed by Parliament in 2005 to provide information to the general public, the government bodies seem to be dissuading people from approaching them for certified copies of official documents.

    In the latest case, Dr K Jhansi Rani, a resident of Yellareddyguda, sought a certified copy of the layout of the Jubilee Hills Co-operative House Building Society Ltd. under the RTI Act, but got a shocker from the GHMC in the form of a letter (Lr.No.305/TPS/GHMC/HO/RTI/07/2731 dated December 6/7, 2007) asking her to "remit Rs 1,29,389 in the GHMC treasury so as to take further necessary action in the matter (issuing of certified copy)".

    The GHMC’s town planning officials scanned old records and worked out a fee structure as the RTI Act allows the information provider to collect ‘actual cost’ from the applicant.

    As Jhansi Rani sought a certified copy of the layout of the 1,173.26 acre Jubilee Hills Co-op Housing Society, the GHMC officials invoked an old rule to collect the fee.

    Of 1173.26 acres plan, they charged Rs 550 for the first two acres and the rest (1,171 acres) at Rs 110 per acre which works out to Rs 1,28,839. As per the Right to Information Act 2005, the government departments can charge ‘actual cost’ for providing information in the form of photostat copies. But the GHMC has been collecting exorbitant charges as per the scheduled rates mentioned in the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Act, 1955, which were being adopted for RTI-related applications.

    Incidentally, this is not the first time that the corporation charged exorbitant rates from the applicants. The town planning wing charged Rs 72,000 to NGO Forum For A Better Hyderabad to provide information on some illegal constructions in the city. The Forum approached the State Information Commission against the charges being collected by the municipal corporation."The GHMC cannot collect charges as per the scheduled rates of the HMC Act. The corporation seems to be discouraging people from seeking information from them. They should provide information by collecting minimum charges,’’ Forum For A Better Hyderabad general secretary O M Dabera told ‘TOI’.

    "We have taken up the appeal filed by the Forum For A Better Hyderabad on the issue and even completed hearings of both parties. The matter has been sent for some legal clarification," State Information Commission sources said.

    "We have been charging scheduled rates for certified copies as they will be signed by officers concerned and will be treated as duplicate copies. For general information and photostat copies, the corporation is collecting only paper charges,’’ GHMC additional chief city planner K Balakrishna said. Photocopies of documents have no legal value, but certified copies have legal bearing, even one can take legal course based on the information.

    GHMC makes RTI money spinner-Hyderabad-Cities-The Times of India


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  2. #2
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.


    I feel a strong appeal can be made by the applicant quoting Section 2(j)(ii) of the RTI Act:

    2.
    j)"right to information" means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to— i)inspection of work, documents, records;
    ii)taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records;
    iii)taking certified samples of material;
    iv)obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device;

    Certified copies are therefore part of information.
    What do other members feel ?
    Last edited by karira; 06-01-08 at 08:51 PM.

  3. #3
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    M. Rafique Rajput
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    Re: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.


    Mumbai Municipal Corporation is also charging Rs. 60 for plan copy and Rs. 20 for per A4 size page Plus they make us pay the xerox charges. Assessment department of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Charges whopping Rs 225 per page for building assessment copy. Maharashtra Building Reconstruction and repair board which is the govt. agency to pass the new building development and Floor Space Index (FSI) is discouraging people by charging double for copy charges. You will have to pay the Rs. 2 per page plus actual xerox charges. Because of these charges the public are discouraged from taking copies from the Government Bodies and could be able to succeed in hiding their misdeed from the public.
    Still we Thanks to the RTI, Now we could be able to expose them.
    M. R. Rajput

  4. #4
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    syed yaseen ali
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    Re: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.



    i want the plan of the road from A G colony to rajiv nagar via natraj nagar and its status of the proceedings being carried on.

  5. #5
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has asked an applicant to pay a whopping Rs 1.29 lakh for seeking a certified copy.


    Syed,

    You can apply for the information you want to the PIO at GHMC.
    The list of PIO's in GHMC is available at:

    http://www.ghmc.gov.in/includes/rti2.pdf

    Your application has to be as per the RTI Rules for AP. These are available in the "Guide" segment: RTI Guide

    The Guide segment also includes many useful articles on how to draft a application, how to submit etc.

    In case you need more assistance just post it and our members will definitely help you.

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