It is not just the bad upkeep of the city the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is often blamed for. The civic agency also tops the chart for keeping many secrets.
The MCD has been fined the maximum number of times by the Central Information Commission (CIC) for denying information to applicants seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Since its inception in 2005, the CIC has imposed penalty in 157 cases. Of these, 32 are related to the MCD.
Delay of more than a day in providing information cost the civic agency a penalty of Rs 250. The MCD was fined Rs 25,000 in a case where there was a delay of 135 days. In another case, the MCD was fined Rs 25,000 as information was not provided on time and two officers of the agency were held responsible.
"The MCD governs the day-to-day needs of the public be it roads, houses, sanitation and hence there needs to be greater accountability. But it is doing acting the opposite and not providing information on time," said Manish Sisodia, who works for NGO, Kabir.
The analysis of the penalty, a copy of which is with the HT, reveals the CIC has imposed a penalty of over Rs 3 lakh on MCD but recovered only Rs 1.81 lakh to date.
Said MCD Commissioner K.S. Mehra: “We are trying to make available the information to the public on time. The kind of information that the people ask for is quite extensive and it requires a lot of time too”.
Citizens claim MCD has been the worst organisation as far as implementing the RTI act goes. “I had filed an application in 2006 seeking information about two engines of loaders that were sent to a private company for repair but never returned to the MCD. They gave me incomplete information," said TR Gupta, a resident of Jangpura.
Next in the list of most penalised organisations includes the Delhi Government and the Delhi Development Authority.