Right to Information activists are worried that the state administration will now give a common excuse to refuse information sought under the sunshine law. Scores of crucial documents are feared to be gutted in the Mantralaya fire.
RTI activist Krishnaraj Rao fears there will be a uniform reply denying information for RTI applications: “Files were gutted in the fire at Mantralaya. Documents sought unavailable.”
On Thursday, as the seat of the state government fell victim to a major fire, activists across the city insisted this would have a direct effect on them. “We have lost hope of getting important documents we need to unearth scams in the state,” rued Rao.
Walkeshwar-based activist Ashish Tiwari considers himself “second time unlucky” after Thursday’s mishap. Tiwari, who has been working on issues pertaining to Banganga, said that the administration had refused to share several documents that he had sought under an RTI application saying they had been lost in the July 2005 floods.
“How can we counter-check if these claims are true or not?” asked Tiwari.
Sudhir Badami, transport activist said that activists should give the state government a chance. “Not all documents have been gutted in the fire. Copies of most documents pertaining to the city can be sought from the municipal corporation,” said Badami.