DISMAYED BY the growing pile of complaints landing at his desk, Municipal Commissioner Vinod Sharma today directed officials to ensure a time bound disposal of applications received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Stressing that the information supplied should be truthful and accurate in all respects, Sharma ordered departmental heads to deal with the complaints instead of delegating the task to babus, particularly when it came to building permission documents.
He, however, urged the applicants to confine their petitions to seeking information and not use the RTI provisions to settle scores or pursue progress in individual cases.
The Commissioner’s remarks came during a brainstorming session with heads of departments (HODs), zone and building permission officers at IMC headquarters in the evening to maximise response to public complaints.
During the meet, Sharma emphasised the need to speed up the grievance redress process. He suggested a weekly review of complaints lodged at IMC headquarters and zone offices to keep tab on resolution of grievances, particularly those pertaining to potholed roads and faulty streetlights etc.
The Commissioner also sought explanation from City Engineer (Public Works) Hans Kumar Jain regarding reasons for the delay in carrying out patchwork on damaged roads.
Earlier, Sharma informed the officials that a large number of letters from RTI applicants reached him everyday complaining about the Corporation’s failure to provide information within specified timeframe.
“If people are not satisfied with the Assistant RTI officer, they will naturally complain to me”, he said and queried about the reasons for the low compliance rate.
However, the Additional Municipal Commissioner Kumar Purshottam, who has the charge of RTI complaints cell, responded that delay in many cases was caused by sheer volume of data involved.
Others were aimed not at obtaining information within the public domain but concerned about tracking the progress of a particular building permission application, usually by the concerned individual himself. In yet other cases application processing was delayed as the information required could harm the business interests of a contractor and builder.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Kumar Purshottam, City Engineer (Public Works) Hans Kumar Jain, City Engineer Harbhajan Singh zonal officers and building permission officials of all 13 municipal zones were among those present at the meeting.