Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Discoms accused of running away from RTI

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 5, 2006

Discoms accused of running away from RTI

Staff Reporter


RWAs lodge protest against the failure of Government to ensure their accountability




NEW DELHI: Representatives of the residents’ welfare associations attending the two-day “Bhagidari” workshop on Right to Information organised by the Chief Minister’s Office have expressed surprise at the decision of the authorities to keep out the functioning of private power distribution companies from the ambit of the RTI Act and the discussions held during the workshop. Lodging their protest against the “indifferent attitude” of the discoms and the failure of the Delhi Government to ensure their accountability, the RWA representatives said they were bemused that the most crucial issue of power sector reforms — private distribution companies — had been kept out of the ambit of RTI.

“If Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is really concerned about empowerment of consumers, why this silence when the discoms are fighting tooth and nail to be kept out of the ambit of RTI,” asked Atul Goyal of the Karol Bagh RWA and United Residents’ Joint Association (URJA) coordinator for West Delhi.

He said the discoms have gone to court to resist being brought under the RTI regime and are understood to have obtained a stay on the issue. The residents and their associations had wanted to use RTI as a weapon to force discoms to fall under scrutiny on various issues including filing of Annual Revenue Receipts, loss reduction targets, investments in infrastructure and the entire range of the conditions of agreement with the Delhi Government. The residents were convinced that they would have managed to unearth crucial information to indict private companies which many believe have taken unrestrained advantage of beneficial clauses included in the agreement at the behest of vested interests. URJA member and lawyer P.S. Sharda said there has been a concerted attempt to shield the Delhi Vidyut Board privatisation deal from public scrutiny.


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