As reported in on 07 April 2008:
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Improving Public Parks in Hubli-Dharwad

Residents of Hubli-Dharwad have little choice when it comes to recreation and outings in and near the city. For the twin cities with a population of over 9 lakhs, among the few choices that citizens have are the Glass House and the Unkal Lake in Hubli, and the Kittur Channamma Park in Dharwad.

It’s no revelation that these public parks are almost continuously in a neglected state and cry for upkeep and development. The situation with these parks deteriorates every passing year. We see short signs of improvements once in a decade. However, they are the same unchanging sight since ages. People always complain, “something should be done”. But hardly anything happens ever. People even don’t know, what are the plans, if any, for improvement of these public parks? How much money has been allocated or sanctioned for these works? or how much has been actually spent?

Rashtrotthan Sankalp has initiated a process to bring the facts in front of the public, discuss and participate in the development of these places of recreation as also their city and hold the administration accountable for its actions, as well as inactions.

Associates of Rashtrotthan Sankalp had filed an application in the office of the Commissioner of Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act on Feb. 20, 2008 to seek information on upkeep and development of these parks, in the past 3 years. The application sought to know details like:
  • Year-wise funds allocated for maintenance / improvement of each park.
  • Year-wise funds spent with details of heads for each park.
  • Developments / improvements proposed for each park.
  • Developments / improvements executed and completed for each park.
  • Names and addresses of Engineers / Officers responsible for the upkeep of each of these parks and projects.
  • Details of any private parties / NGOs sponsored / volunteered to maintain these parks.
  • Details of vendors / Hotels / Shops licensed to sell food or other articles inside or near these parks and also the updated price list at which these vendors are licensed to sell food or other articles.

It was mandatory for the Public Information Officer (PIO) to provide the requested information within a stipulated period of 30 days. However, the PIO, the office of the Commissioner and the HDMC have failed to meet the statutory requirement relating to transparency in administration and public life. The RTI is a tool devised to bring in more transparency in the working of the government, facilitate involvement of citizens in the development works, and act as a tool to bring in accountability among the government employees and as a check against corruption.

HDMC’s default on this application and scant respect to the RTI Act puts a big question mark on its accountability to citizens, efficiency of its working and leaves one wondering about the proper utilization of public money and its attitude towards service to the citizens.

Associates of Rashtrotthan Sankalp have now moved a complaint against HDMC in the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC). Rashtrotthan Sankalp will not only pursue the case in the KIC and plead for directions to HDMC to provide the information sought and imposing a penalty on the defaulting officials, but also work more rigorously for bringing in accountability and efficiency, and rooting out corruption in administration.


A copy of the RTI Application and the Second Appeal/Complaint to Karnataka SIC can be seen at:

rastrindia - Â* ∫∫ RashtrotthanÂ* SankalpÂ*∫∫ HD parkaÂ*

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