LMC officials tear their hair at comic queries | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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LMC officials tear their hair at comic queries

What is the dress code of corporators or common man when they enter the LMC house or office? How many fans and tube-lights are there in the LMC office? Who checks certificates awarded by LMC officials? How many chairs and tables are there in the LMC office? - These questions are not part of a quiz on the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, but queries posed under Right to Information Act.

lucknow Updated: Aug 21, 2010 14:09 IST
Anupam Srivastava

What is the dress code of corporators or common man when they enter the LMC house or office? How many fans and tube-lights are there in the LMC office? Who checks certificates awarded by LMC officials? How many chairs and tables are there in the LMC office? - These questions are not part of a quiz on the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, but queries posed under Right to Information Act.

LMC officials are often at their wits' end when confronted with such questions and term them frivolous.

"We are asked a host of questions and 50 percent of the people do not return after putting up their questions," says additional municipal commissioner (looking after job of public information officer in LMC) PK Srivastava.

"Nearly 20 to 30 per cent questions are completely frivolous and personal; they are asked for settling personal scores and can sometimes be quite frustrating", he added

The LMC officials believe that these questions are responsible for making things difficult for genuine information -seekers as more number of questions choke the answer channel.

Some officials have even demanded a mechanism to route genuine questions.

A few months back, a senior citizen approached the PIO and sought information about an employee, his post, whether his services were regularised his salary structure. When the PIO asked why he wanted this information, the man replied that he was negotiating his daughter's marriage with the person and hence wanted the information.

Needless to state, the information was provided to him immediately.

"The practice of frivolous questions is becoming a menace", said Srivastava.

"Once a resident demanded names and details of all employees, telephone numbers, as well as information about numerous offices and properties run by the LMC. We literally sweated over that. Efforts were made to persuade him to seek limited information at a single go".

"The benefits of RTI cannot be diluted even if some cases of irrelevant questions are cropping up. As long as the benefits of RTI far outweigh the hazards, it's acceptable ",
said Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.

"Even if one relevant query is there among 100 irrelevant questions, then RTI is useful to end corruption and bring in transparency" he argued.