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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Engineers busy in development work: Mumbai civic body reply to RTI query on potholes

In the reply, BMC further said the sought information is “voluminous” and the same can be inspected by visiting the ward

mumbai Updated: Jul 22, 2019 00:34 IST
Mehul R Thakkar
Mehul R Thakkar
Hindustan Times
The RTI application was filed by HT.
The RTI application was filed by HT. (HT Photo)
         

The R/Central ward of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in reply to an RTI query seeking the number of potholes recorded between 2008 and 2019, said all engineers are busy with “development work” and the “job of replying to an RTI is an addition to the primary function of administration”.

The RTI application was filed by HT. The R/Central ward mainly covers Borivli, including areas near the national park in Gorai, which is densely populated. In the reply, BMC further said the sought information is “voluminous” and the same can be inspected by visiting the ward.

Ramakant Biradar, assistant commissioner of R/Central Ward said, “I cannot give any specific comment on the issue. The applicant has options like filing first appeal, second appeal and going to the court if they are not satisfied with the information provided.”

“If the appellate authority attending the appeal finds that the reply has an opinion and not information, they will do the needful,” Biradar said.

There are 24 administrative wards of the BMC in the city that looks after different areas in the suburbs and island city.

Meanwhile, RTI activists slammed the BMC citing that the reply is against the spirit of transparency for which the RTI Act was brought into effect.

Vihar Durve, an RTI activist, said, “The BMC is not giving us the desired information by saying that replying to an RTI query is an additional duty. They are rather giving out their opinion.”

Another RTI activist, Vijay Kumbhar said, “The RTI Act is drafted to give factual information, and not give a personal opinion of those in the administration. This type of act will demotivate applicants. Such data should be available on the BMC website ”