RTI activists to grill PMC
Perturbed over increasing instances where the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has failed to provide information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act just because the PMC could not find the relevant documents in its records, a group of RTI activists will now verify whether the corporation has a proper system to maintain all its records.
The process of verification of documents is being done under the provisions of the RTI Act.
The inspection will start from next Monday wherein RTI activists led by Vijay Kumbhar, Vivek Velankar, Sandeep Khardekar and Vihar Durve will visit various departments including the municipal commissioner’s office.
“We have a simple objective to verify whether the PMC follows the stipulated procedure of maintenance of its records as its mandatory for the civic body to do so. There is no intention to trouble the civic administration,” Kumbhar said.
Kumbhar also said that PMC was supposed to update its records last month. He added that at a recent workshop held at YASHADA, PMC officials had said that it would take around 15 days for the civic administration to update and computerise its records.
“I do not know whether this has happened. However, we want to verify for ourselves what PMC has done till now,” Kumbhar said.
He said that if the PMC failed to update its records, then he would approach the State Information Commissioner.
On Monday, the activists will inspect the General Record Keepers Office, on Tuesday they will visit the municipal commissioner’s office, and on subsequent days, they will visit the land and estate department, garden department and the health department.
Meanwhile, PMC’s assistant commissioner and appellate authority Arun Patil said the records are maintained properly and there is no problem is showing these records to the citizens.
“We have also given a prior intimation to the commissioner about the visit, Kumbhar concluded.
Re: RTI activists to grill PMC
As reported by TNN in The Times of India, Pune, on 19 January 2008:
Div commissioner has no records update-Pune-Cities-The Times of India
Div commissioner has no records update
PUNE: The inadequacy shown by the divisional commissioner's office here in updating and maintaining official records mandated under the Right To Information Act has led civic activists issuing a complaint to information commissioner Vijay Kuvalekar.
Activists Vivek Velankar and Vishwas Sahasrabuddhe on Wednesday conducted an inspection of documents which are supposed to be disclosed suo motu by government offices under section 4 of the Act, at the divisional commissioner's office.
Velankar told reporters that he was shocked to see that the documents and records had not been updated for the last two years. "None of the sections have the recent records. Whatever records were available were inadequate, inconsistent and irrelevant. We have requested an urgent intervention by the information commissioner in the matter," Velankar said.
Velankar said it was a clear case of lack of will on part of officials in maintaining the records as the civic activists had given them a notice well in advance about the inspections to be conducted.
"The divisional commissioner's office is an important one as it has five districts under its jurisdiction. They have shown a casual approach towards section 4 of the RTI Act and action should be taken against them," Velankar said.
The civic activists found a similar approach by municipal officials when such inspections were conducted at the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
"We are going to conduct more inspections at other government offices. If a similar situation is found, we will have no option but to approach the Bombay high court to issue directions," Velankar said.