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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

RTS Act proves to be a damp squib'Lack of awareness' is a reason for poor response, says DC

Rajeev Bhaskar, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, December 12, 2013
First Published: 20:29 IST(12/12/2013) | Last Updated: 20:30 IST(12/12/2013)

Much hyped Right to Service Act, which was implemented in the state in 2011 with an aim to provide hassle-free service to the public in stipulated time, has virtually proved “dump” in the district, as the appellant authority has not received any formal complaint under the act so far.

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During investigation by HT, it was revealed that deputy commissioner or additional deputy commissioner (general), who is the appellant authority under the act, did not receive any appeal from any of the resident.

It was also revealed that after implementation of the act, two computer operators were recruited by the district administration on contract basis for the work related to the act, but after few months, services of both were discontinued, keeping in view the “lukewarm” response.

Even when HT team visited the Suwidha Centre, where applications under the RTS Act were supposed to be submitted, no staff member was aware about the procedure of submitting the appeal under the act.

When contacted deputy commissioner Varun Roojam said that so far there was no appeal submitted under the act and cited “lack of awareness” among public as reason of such a “poor” response.

Asked whether non-submission of any appeal under the act could be taken as that the people are satisfied with the district administration and all their work are being done within the time frame mentioned in the act, the DC preferred to remain mum.

“It seems that people are not aware about the act, which provides them the right to get their work done in stipulated time,” he said, and added that the district administration had displayed the board in the administrative complex about the act, but still media's help was needed to create public awareness.

On the discontinuation of the services of computer operators employed for the RTS Act, the deputy commissioner said that as their salaries were to be given from the salary budget of the staff's Suwidha Centre, it was decided to take the same work from the staff of Suwidha Centre.

Meanwhile, the response to the RTS Act for police services is not different and recently superintendent of police (SP) Sukhdev Singh was appointed as district community police officer to supervise the working of 'Sanjha Kendra' established to provide 25 services included under the act.

“To create public awareness about the act, we have printed 10,000 handouts for proper dissemination of details about the services offered under RTS Act,” he said.

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