Tamilnadu RTI Campaign Update 2 16 July, 2006. Chennai Camp
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 18, 2006
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Tamilnadu Right to Information Campaign Update 2
16 July, 2006. Chennai Camp
Update by Sharadha Narayanan and Nityanand Jayaraman, For the TN Right to Information Campaign
Three days into the campaign, momentum is picking up to the point where the capacity of volunteers is being strained. More than 250 volunteers have been trained as of Sunday, including fisherfolk, urban poor, students from schools and colleges and other walk-ins. Media coverage, particularly in Tamil newspapers and TV has been substantial. One advertisement that appeared in Dinakaran — a popular Tamil daily — has resulted in at hundreds of calls to the helpline numbers. Many people responding to Dinakaran call from Chennai, Salem, Erode, Coimbatore and Nilgiri districts. Chennai callers are directed to attend the clinic, while outstation callers are either referred to district level organisers or are assisted by helpline volunteers.
Till date more than 90 people have been assisted in filing Right to Information requests or in appealing responses received by them.
On 15 July, 2006, the Campaign held its first Government response session. The session was very well attended with Taramani area Civic Exnora members and other walk-ins, numbering about 60 present through the course of the meeting. Four Government departments — Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Chennai Municipal Corporation, Metrowater and Slum Clearance Board — with particular relevance to the needs of urban poor sent their respective Public Information Officers to explain what the Department has done to implement the RTI, and field questions by the Public.
Mr. Gunasekaran- PIO, Metro Water Department:
Mr. Gunasekaran claimed that the Metro Water Department ensured almost 100% adherence to the Citizens charter. His department, he added, was also involved in distributing free booklets containing the department’s working, roles and responsibilities to the people on the issue of every new card for supply of water. The department’s website would also be a comprehensive source of information on the same.
Demand Drafts for filing RTI applications to this department should be in the name of CMWSSB.
Appellate authority for RTI – Managing Director.
RTI applications received so far: 38
Status of applications: Responded to all
Mr. Balasubramaniyam- PIO, Chennai Municipal Corporation:
Mr. Balasubramaniyam informed the people that their department website www.chennaicorporation.com was a one-point source for all information about the department.
People who do not have access to this website can obtain the information they require by
approaching the zonal officers appointed for all zones of Chennai.
Demand Drafts for filing RTI applications to this department should be in the name of Chief
Engineer General, Chennai Corporation .
PIOs- All Zonal Officers
APIOs- Chief Accounts Officers
Appellate Authority- Commissioner
RTI applications received so far: 7
Status of applications: Responded to 4
Mr. Murugesan- PIO, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board.
Mr. Murugesan assured the people that the zonal officers appointed by the department would
help people in every possible way. He also informed the people that RTI applications should be sent to the Main PIO who would forward the requests to the other 14 PIOs as the case may be.
Demand Drafts for filing RTI applications to this department should be in the name of Chairman, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board.
PIO- Public Relations Officer
Appellate Authority- Managing Director
RTI applications received so far: 3
Status of applications: Responded to 1
Mr.D.Gunasekaran- PIO, CMDA
Mr.D.Gunasekaran stressed on the need to obtain approval from the CMDA for any land-related activity to avoid complications at a later date. He also urged the people to take the assistance of his officials before purchasing any land or house.He also instructed the people to approach the Grievance cell of his department to sort out issues concerning bribery of officials to his department for quick redressal.
Contact details: 9444008080/044-28414855/044-28414504.
Demand Drafts for filing RTI applications to this department should be in the name of Member
Secretary, Chennai Metro Development Authority .
PIO- Public Relations officer
Appellate Authority- Member Secretary
RTI applications received so far: 25
Status of applications: Responded to 21
This is the first time since the enactment of the RTI Act that Government officials are being called upon to explain what they have done to implement the Act. The positive response of the concerned departments is particularly heartening and lends credence to the optimism exhibited by RTI proponents.
Similar Government response sessions are planned for other departments including, Labour, TNEB, TNPCB and Civil Supplies.