Huda changes RTI authority, activists oppose | india | Hindustan Times
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Huda changes RTI authority, activists oppose

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has relieved the local administrators of being the first authority for handling queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and shifted the responsibility on the estate officers (EOs), a move which has been opposed by RTI activists.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2011 01:06 IST
Deevakar Anand

The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has relieved the local administrators of being the first authority for handling queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and shifted the responsibility on the estate officers (EOs), a move which has been opposed by RTI activists.

The activists allege that the step has been taken with the "mala fide" intention of creating confusion and dissuading people from following up on their RTI applications. They said now the applicants would have to approach the Chandigarh-based chief administrator of Huda instead of its local administrators in case they want to appeal against EOs.

Hindustan Times has accessed a Huda document which says the decision to designate EOs as the first appellate authority was taken in a meeting under the chairmanship of financial commissioner, Town and Country Planning, Haryana on September 14 and the same was brought into effect vide a circular from the chief administrator's office on November 3.

“It will be a clash of interest for the EOs as most RTI applications are directed against them,” said activist Aseem Takyar, who has filed hundreds of RTI applicants in Huda.

Raman Sharma, another RTI activist, said, “The move is just to take away the administrators from the picture as there is a crop of appeals against them and it doesn't reflect well on their performance.”

According to Huda, the change has been made to offload the burden from EOs, who carry out dual responsibility of handling development works as well as RTI applications. “Now the EOs will only hear appeals and get more time to concentrate on development works,” said the chief Huda administrator, DPS Nagal.

The Huda administrator, Gurgaon, Praveen Kumar, brushed aside the apprehension that the change will negatively impact the redressal of RTI cases.