Is it applicable for Maharashtra too ?
As reported by Vinod Rajput in jagrancityplus.com on 31 March 2008:
Co-operative housing society secretary is liable to act as a PIO: Khan
Noida: In order to serve the purpose of providing information under RTI Act 2005, there is a provision to appoint public information officers in the offices of public authorities as per the Rule-5 of Chapter-2. Hence, under the Rules-5 and 19, according to the letter 3704/ prash-1, dated 27-12-2005, the UP Housing Avam Development Board appointed assistant housing commissioner/ assistant registrar as a PIO (public information officer) and joint housing commissioner/ joint registrar as first appellate authority in order to provide information to the general public about the co-operative housing societies in the respective areas of the officers. After the implementation of the RTI Act, officers at the headquarters noticed that information sought by the complainants were about land allotment, possession of the land, registry of the land, illegal activities of the secretary and chairman, and proposals related with the societies. On the contrary, higher authorities as well as applicants were facing high amount of inconvenience in providing and receiving the desired information.
Thus, access to the information needed to be easy for the applicants and to end the mounting hassles, Dr. MAA Khan, Housing Commissioner, issued a letter (Number 3273) following the article 2 (J) (III) along with 2(A) of RTI Act 2005, dated November 16, 2006 in which it was noticeably stated that the secretary of the co-operative housing societies is liable to work as a PIO to general public for absolute transparency in the system.
When Cityplus surveyed the co-operative housing societies of Noida then not even a single society is found which is following the RTI Act 2005, reason being that the Act is not being put into effect strictly, and lack of awareness among the masses. Co-operative housing officer of Ghaziabad Zone, Suresh Pawar told that there are around 55 co-operative housing societies in Noida and 52 in Greater Noida which are Government controlled as the land is given to them by the State. On asking veteran journalist and State Information Commissioner (UPSIC) Gyanendra Sharma that why the RTI Act has not lived up to its true verve even after more than two years of its implementation, he opined, "The understanding of the Act is lacking among the masses. There is a need to educate people about RTI Act in Western UP." He also informed that along with Sanjay Yadav (Information Commissioner), a three member bench is investigating the matter whether which co-operative housing societies come under the RTI Act 2005 in order to end confusion about the nature of societies that come under the Act.
On being asked about the letter number 3273 which was issued on November 16, 2006 by the Housing Commissioner to the co-operative housing societies whether it is into effect or withdrawn, then PK Singh, Joint Housing Commissioner Lucknow chips in, "There is no withdrawal of the order at all till now and it is definitely into effect and all the co-operative housing societies are liable to follow this order as it is in the constitutional spirit."
RTI Activist Commodore Lokesh K. Batra who creates awareness among people about RTI Act opines, "More than two years have passed since the RTI Act 2005 came into effect but still mass awareness is lacking. People needs to be educated about the Act." Transparency and accountability of officilas can be ensured only when the RTI Act will be implemented in its true spirit.”
"The understanding of the Act is lacking among the masses. We need to make public aware about the RTI Act 2005 in order to make the functioning of public authorities transparent.”
– Gyanendra Sharma, SIC
Copy of the above mentioned circular is with me and cannot be attached because the file (jpg) size is too big. If any one needs it, please pm me your email id and I will email it.