Chennai RTI Update 5: July 19, 2006
Posted by rtiact2005 on July 20, 2006
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Tamilnadu Right to Information Campaign Update 5
19 July, 2006, Chennai
By Sharada Narayanan for Tamilnadu Right to Information Campaign
Civil Supplies: Most Notorious Department Makes an Appearance
At least 60 persons attended the Government response session from 4 to 6 p.m. where officials from the Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection department fielded questions regarding the implementation of the RTI Act, 2005. Mr. Rajarathinam, Deputy Commissioner II; Mr. S. Vijayan, Administrative Officer; Mr. Pazhanivelu, Superintendent of North Chennai represented the Department. Interestingly, while most of the people attending the consultation sessions at the Chennai camp have complaints regarding the tardy processing of ration card applications at the Civil Supplies Department, officials of the Department claim that they have received only 6 applications till date.
In violation of the RTI Act that guarantees that citizens can pay the application fee of Rs. 50 by Demand Draft, Banker’s Cheque, Government Challan, or in cash or through the Treasury, the Civil SUpplies Department insists that only DDs drawn in favour of “Public Information Officer, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Department” will be accepted.
According to Mr. Rajarathinam, the Civil Supplies Department had ensured 100 percent allotment of essential commodities to all ration shops. He urged people to bring any complaint regarding poor supply of goods to the notice of the Deputy Commissioners. To systematize the working at ration shops, days were allotted to different people to collect their rations apart from a common day, open to all cardholders of that area. Also surprise inspections by officers, he claimed, resulted in better working of the ration shops.
Officials informed that Citizen’s charters were available in the Assistant Commissioner and Taluk offices apart from the department website. In keeping with the government’s commitment to e-governance, the official claimed that North Chennai was well equipped to handle applications, complaints and requests online and provide the people with acknowledgements with due dates for the same. However, the official was unable to provide the website URL.
Regarding training of department employees on the Act, Deputy Commissioner Mr. Vijayan said that it was happening in a phased manner and that only 75 officials had been trained till date. The officials asked the people to send their grievances to the Assistant Commissioner’s office or call 044-28551028/26 for assistance in North Chennai and South Chennai respectively.
PIO- The administrative officer of every zone will be the Public Information Officer with the Deputy Commissioners acting as the main PIOs. At the Taluk level, the Taluk Supply Officer will act as the PIO.
APIO- Superintendents of the zones will act as APIOs in the city.
Appellate Authority- The Joint Commissioner will act as the Appellate Authority in the city while the DSO of the districts will act as the Appellate Authority.
DDs must be taken in favour of the Public Information officer, Civil Supplies and Consumer