MC building branch gets new excuse to evade queries

Raising eyebrows yet again, the building branch at Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has found another way to evade queries made by RTI activists in city.

Whenever an RTI is sent to the building branch asking details of any building in city, a reply stuns the activist seeking requisite information.

The reply from the building branch states, “Provide the map number, date on which map was passed and the name of the owner, after which information regarding the building would be provided.”

This has raised serious doubts on the working of building branch of the MC. Ravi Sharma an RTI activist had filed nearly six RTIs in different areas of the city in the past few months, but was not able to get even a single reply. All replies stated that the map number in the case was important.

It is pertinent to mention that no ordinary person can get access to the map number and date of issuance of permission for any building in city.

“How can anyone get the information of map number when it is not made public?” questioned Ravi adding that it was difficult for any person to find the map number for any building.
There are a large number of under-construction buildings in city, which are allegedly flouting building bye-laws and have also been served notices by the MC. However, whenever the information is sought for such buildings, the reply states that map number was a must.

An official of the building branch said the maps in the MC are not kept area wise as a result it becomes difficult for the MC to reply to the RTI, when the information regarding the building in a specific area is sought. The maps he said were kept number wise.

He said the best way to get rid of this problem was to send a notice to the building owner directly and ask him to provide the map number of his number so that the information sought in the RTI could be provided easily. “But this process is time consuming,” the official added.

So far Ravi Sharma had sought details for more than six buildings in Zone A and D which were supposed to be provided by the ATPs of the respective zones.


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