New Delhi, March 18
Concerned over the deficient RTI structure of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered the body to appoint a senior official for effective coordination of its information disclosure system.

“It is advised that the DDA must place a responsible senior official who could be in-charge of ensuring that applications filed with the DDA reach the proper PIO (Public Information Officer) and those who were the custodians of information,” Information Commissioner O P Kejariwal said in a recent order.

Highlighting the need to strengthen the RTI structure within the DDA, the Commission, which was hearing an appeal filed by one Anil Kumar Aatwal, issued a direction that a “senior official” should be appointed latest by April 20.

“This (the appointment) is necessary to avoid inconvenience to the appellants and also confusion within the DDA itself,” it said but refrained from giving details about such an appointment.

Aatwal, in his application under the RTI filed on October 10 last year, had sought information on various issues. This was later forwarded by DDA’s PIO to five different officers within the organisation.

In response to the five different queries raised by him, Aatwal had received incomplete information pertaining to one of his questions, against which the appeal was preferred to the Commission.

The Commission took strong exception to the DDA’s faulty information disclosure system, which led to the transferring of the request for information from one department to another.

The DDA has been receiving flak from the RTI regulatory body over the inefficient functioning of its information disclosure system. Responding to another RTI appeal filed by one Inderjeet Singh, the CIC came down heavily on the DDA’s functioning after it failed to make a personal representation before the Commission.
The CIC said: “This (failure over disclosure) only goes to strengthen the general public perception that the DDA is most inefficient in its functioning and callous in its attitude towards the public”.

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Delhi and neighbourhood