Here is a success story which everybody can try in their respective localities to make their locality a better place. All it took was spend a total of about 3-4 hours in writing RTI requests and submitting.
Whitefields area in hyderabad (near hitec city) did not have street lights and a stretch of the road was pathetic. Using RTI, the following was acheived.
28th July 2007: Filed the first RTI appln requesting information (how much money spent etc) on roads in the area.
6th Sept 2007 : Road works completed by this time. Recieved a response to RTI application from GHMC.
28<SUP>th</SUP> July 2007: Filed the first RTI appln requesting information on street lighting in the area.
Work was started by the municipality after a week or two of filing the application.
6<SUP>th</SUP> Sept 2007: Response to RTI appln was given saying that the street lighting would be completed in another 15 days.
Work stopped in about a week and it looked like they gave up on it.
3<SUP>rd</SUP> Nov 2007: Filed another RTI application (refer to attachment rti-stlights-3rdNov.doc) asking for details on the status and delay.
Again work started, cabling was done etc. But still not clear as to why it was taking time.
Also, response to the RTI appln was not given withing 30 days which is actally manadatory under RTI act.
22<SUP>nd</SUP> Dec 2007: Filed a first appeal on the RTI appln asking the PIO (public info officer) to respond to my application (attachment rti-appeal-22ndDec)
22<SUP>nd</SUP> Dec 2007: Street lights turned on.
4th Jan 2008 : Received response to my appeal.
I can provide the details (rti request and response letters) if anybody is interested.
There is enough money in the system to take care of all the basic needs. Most of it is even allotted. But unless we ask how much money is allotted, spent and ask for details, we will keep paying taxes and it all goes .. dont know where. Hence request everybody to do their bit in asking for information under RTI and help themselves and others in the process.
Once again, thanks to rtiindia.org for giving such a great forum for RTI.