Over 10 years after the Right to Information (RTI) Act was enacted in 2005 “to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority”, the facility is becoming increasingly popular in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.
According to a report presented by the State Information Commission (SIC) in the Vidhan Sabha’s winter session recently, the number of RTI applications had increased by 24% since the Act came in force until 2013-14.
While 2,654 people had sought information from the government in the year after the Act came in force, the number rose to 80,000 over the next eight years.
The report said while more people were coming forward to seek information under the Act, the government departments were, too, willing to give out information.
It also disclosed that only 2% of the total applicants were not provided information, while 3% people approached the commission for appeal.
There are a total of 122 offices in the state that come under the purview of the RTI Act. Of these, the police department received the maximum applications at 7,076 regarding their first information reports (FIRs).
People even approached the SIC for information, as was evident from 83 applications in 2013-14. Similarly, 1,088 people approached the Himachal Pradesh high court for information. However, the public information office at the high court rejected 108 applications
“There has been 24% increase in the number of people seeking information under the RTI Act since the Act came in force until 2013-14. The trend reflects that people are getting more aware about their rights,” state information commission.er Bhim Sen said.