Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Harried consumers see a ray of hope : RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 4, 2006

Harried consumers see a ray of hope
HT Correspondent
Varanasi, July 3


IT may sound strange that one fails to get an electricity connection disconnected even after submitting an application for more than five years but such a case came to light at the a camp organised as part of the nationwide campaign ‘Drive Against Bribe’ at the district headquarters here in Varanasi on Monday.

Rajendra Kumar, a resident of Raja Bazar area submitted an application for power disconnection and Rs 200 as fee for the purpose with City Power Distribution Block (Second), Chaukaghat on February 20, 2001, but the electricity connection was yet not disconnected. “My electricity connection number is 103260 whereas book number is 375,” he said.

Rajendra, who turned up at the ‘Drive Against Bribe’ camp today, said that no officials of Electricity Department took notice of his application gathering dust for more than five years. “Now it is the Right to Information Act which could yield some positive results for me,” he said.

He had been running from pillar to post to get his electricity connection disconnected but all his efforts failed as he had refused to grease the palms of the erring officials.

“It is a well-planned strategy of the Electricity Department officials to put unnecessary burden of Electricity Bills on me and get some bribe,” he alleged.

“Now I want all the information regarding the progress of my application under Right to Information Act,” he said.

“The Electricity Department officials have been harassing me mentally and physically to get some bribe,” he added. Rajendra Kumar got an application drafted from the volunteers to get a progress report of his request.

Volunteers of non-government organisations conducted the ‘Drive Against Bribe’ campaign and generate awareness in the people about various aspects of RTI Act.

However, Hindustan Times took up one of the matters with the concerned department and the officials assured disposal of this long-pending problem within the shortest possible time.

“The electricity connection should have been disconnected at the very time when the applicant applied for the same. I will see to it why it was delayed and ensure immediate disposal,” executive engineer of Power Distribution Block (Second), Chaukaghat DR Chaudhary told Hindustan Times.

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