Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Anti-bribe campaign in Orissa is in full swing

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 14, 2006

Anti-bribe campaign in Orissa is in full swing

Thursday, July 13, 2006

: A massive nationwide awareness-cum-assistance campaign program called the “Drive against Bribe through use of Right to Information” started from 1st July 2006 to 15th July 2006 in forty eight cities of the country at the same time. In Orissa,
was chosen as the place for this campaign program. A group of NGOs under the banner of “Orissa Soochna Adhikar Abhijan” launched the campaign here. The NGOs are : CYSD, Orissa Jagaran Abhiyan (OJA) , ODAF, Sahavagi Vikas Abhiyan, RCDC, Utkal Sewak Samaj, Task Force on Women and Violence, AGRAGAMEE, Abhiyan, The Humanity, SODA, NYK, NSS, OLS-Awareness, ADHIKAR, NIPIDIT, BGVS, Indian Red Cross,  Natya Chetana, Prajna Sathi Abhiyan, CHETABANI, DAGAR, Yusuf Meheraulli Centre, ISD etc. The campaign is in full swing in

A rally was organized on 10th of July 2006. As many as 320 volunteers took part in the rally from Vani Vihar to PMG chowk. Jagadananda, Secretary of CYSD and D.N.Padhi, Chief Information Commissioner of Orissa addressed the rally at the end point.

Peculiar cases relating to Indira Awas, Pesions, Land disputes, Passports, B.P.L. Cards, electricity bills etc are coming to the camp. Some of the peculiar cases are mentioned below:

The PIO at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, Mr. Patnaik demanded a sum of Rs. 20/- as the application fee irrespective of people belonging to the BPL list. He said that their office has not received any circular regarding the revised fee structure even though the fee structure has been revised vide IPR department letter no.-S.R.O. No. 251/2006 dated 29th May 2006.



officials refused to accept the application forms under RTI.




officials do not have an idea about RTI.

One gentleman, Mr. Sarat Padhi deposited a sum of Rs. 1 lakh as the first installment and then Rs. 85,000/- as the second installment to purchase a house at Kalinga Nagar from BDA. He withheld the payment of subsequent installments in apprehension, as he did not receive the receipt slips of the first two installments about which he duly intimated the BDA vide a letter and the letter is also there with BDA. He requested for the receipt slips a number of times but in vein. After a span of around 6 years, BDA sent a receipt slip of the first installment. After being convinced about the deposit of the money, Mr. Padhi deposited the rest of the amount in full. Now the BDA is asking Mr. Panda to deposit an interest of around 6 lakhs to get the house.

45 labourers representing 428 labourers of Balugaon sub-division in Khurda returned back satisfied from the 15-day Right To Information awareness-cum-assistance camp at CYSD. Apart from being told about their rights as citizens of the country, the labourers were also given information on issues related to pending bills and compensatory packages for those working abroad, particularly in Kuwait.

People who have not received their BPL cards are coming in large numbers with their grievances.

People have not received their passport in the stipulated time period and coming with their grievances.

“In all these cases, we are trying to facilitate as to how people should fill up the application form with right kind of questions, which would enable them get the right information within the stipulated time limit” says Mr Nishikant Mohapatra, the State Coordinator of the campaign.

“We have a number of cases being registered daily but successful cases can only be noted when we follow up the cases in the immediate future. In this national level campaign, we get to know about successful stories of people from other parts of the country, particularly
, Maharastra etc. The reason being that Right to Information is quite popular in those places and even prior to the RTI Act 2005, they had their own set of rules on RTI. People in those places are more aware in comparison to places like Orissa, where we have started operating since last nine months only. Therefore, this awareness cum assistance campaign formally paves the way for a bigger and continuous campaign across the state in the most immediate future .” says Dr Srimat Roy, an active volunteer of the campaign .

Tapan, Nirupama, Rita, Sujata, Madhu, Namita, Anita are some of the volunteers who are guiding the members of public in filing RTI forms to redress their grievances.

Report by Pradeep Baisakh


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