MCD ignoring RTI queries, say activists

October 11th, 2010 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which gets the maximum number of Right To Information (RTI) queries among Delhi government departments, gives vague and incomplete replies or does not respond at all, allege RTI activists - a charge denied by the civic body.

The MCD, which terms itself the largest municipal body in the world next only to Tokyo in terms of area, is responsible for handling various civic issues ranging from garbage disposal to bumpy roads to choked drains on 96 percent of the metropolis’ land area and for 98 percent of its population.

It receives about 200 RTI applications in a week and had a whopping 30,685 RTI applications as on Oct 11, putting it far ahead of the other 120 Delhi government departments. However, RTI activists are not happy with the responses of the MCD.

“I have submitted 12 RTI application in the past two months and have received no reply from them on even one. Is this how MCD respond to RTI queries? Let them be the biggest civic body but that is no excuse from not doing their duties,” said Rakesh Agarwal, who runs NGO Nyaya Bhoomi.

He also charged the civic body officials with not doing their job properly, while “most of their information officers don’t even know how to deal with applications”.

Another RTI activist Anupama Iyer said she had filed about nine applications on encroachment issues, but she has not received any response from the MCD and penalties were imposed on MCD officials concerned by the chief information commissioner.

“Delivering services and replying to the RTI query is MCD’s duty. But they don’t do it - they try to neglect the RTI query by either passing the RTI application to some other department or give incomplete or useless information,” RTI activist Subash Chandra Agarwal alleged.

The MCD denied the charges of the RTI activists.

“It is not possible that any RTI query had gone unanswered or with inadequate information. All the information petitions are cleared within the 30-day deadline,” MCD spokesperson Deep Mathur told IANS.

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