Of 60, the RTI cell has not answered a single query yet
Express News Service:
Kolkata, March 28: The Right to Information (RTI) cell at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has received 60 applications till date. But, that’s about it!
Interestingly, none of the applications received under the RTI act by KMC has so far been answered.
“Eight per cent of the queries are on the buildings department while the rest are on assessment and licence departments, with one application on the market department,” pointed out Pashupati Barik, the deputy municipal commissioner, personnel (DMCP).
The mayor, though, seems unaware of this unnecessary delay in people’s right to information. “I am not aware of the fact that responses have not yet been given to the applicants. The responsibility of handling the RTI cell is solely in the hands of DMCP,” said mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.
After receiving the applications, the RTI cell has to forward them to respective departments, depending on the nature of queries. A liaison officer is appointed for every department of KMC and is responsible for handling all applications related to his department. The liaison officer is then supposed to send the application, along with the response back to the RTI cell.
The DMCP has all authority to send reminders to these departmental heads in case of delays. “We need to refer to old documents before providing answers to applicants. This is a time-consuming process because the RTI cell is just over a month old and it is difficult to find out decades old records,” said S Das, the deputy chief engineer, North, of the KMC buildings department.