Right to Information – Master key to good governance

MCD has fared worst in providing info, says CIC

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 16, 2006

MCD has fared worst in providing info, says CIC


Shilpa Venkataraman



New Delhi, July 13: The most number of complaints received so far by the Central Information Commission (CIC) pertaining to the Right to Information Act is against the MCD, according to Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

DDA is second on the list.

The number of appeals against the MCD has gone up sharply in the last few months, he told Newsline. The main reason, according to him, is the frequent change of officials in the civic body.

“I understand the MCD is under a lot of pressure, especially after the demolition episode. But they can solve most of their problems if they are systematic and transparent in their functioning,” said Habibullah.

The frequent shifting of senior officers makes it difficult for us to pinpoint the guilty PIO, he said.

On DDA’s functioning, he said, it is slowly getting things in place.

The CIC, however, did not give the exact figures as to how many complaints have been filed till date against the two civic bodies.

The CIC is an independent appellate body set up under the Central RTI Act and functions as the second appellant authority under the Act.

When an applicant is not satisfied with the information provided by the PIO, he can file an appeal to the first appellate authority (an official senior to the PIO in the public authority). If he is still not satisfied, he can appeal to the CIC.

The CIC has so far received about 2,000 appeals, of which it has passed orders in about 800 cases.

MCD officials say the high number of RTI applications and appeals against it is because it’s involved in a large number of developmental works, which attract many queries. “Issues like sanitation, unauthorised constructions, regularisation of buildings and markets, rickshaws, cattle… affect the common man. Ninety-six per cent of Delhi comes under the MCD. Our interface with citizens is more. So we can’t compare MCD with other public authorities,” said Deep Mathur, Director, Press and Information, MCD. “Many people seek information to harass the officers, and not in public interest,” complained a senior zonal official not willing to be quoted. Many also seek information as a blackmailing tool to get even with their rivals, the official added.

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