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New Delhi, July 30: The Central Information Commission has directed the DDA to make available all files and documents related to the Rohini Residential Scheme of 1981 for inspection.
Taking the development body to task for refusing information to an RTI applicant, the panel has directed the heads of the Planning, Engineering and Land Management Departments to provide relevant information to the applicants by September 14, 2007.
Since there is a â€œlarge public interest involved, the DDA Vice-Chairman should ensure that the required information is timely impartedâ€, the Commission said.
The CICâ€™s directive came after Rajiv Sapra, a family friend of Naresh Chandâ€”one of the applicants to the schemeâ€”filed an RTI application in November last year.
Speaking to Newsline, Rajiv Sapra said he sought the status of the scheme 26 years after it was announced. â€œI wanted to know how long it would take the DDA to give plots to the applicants...also, whether the DDA had acquired the land from farmers...if so, at what price.â€
DDA officials, however, told Sapra that he could not get the information as he was not an applicant himself.
His subsequent appeal for review of the schemeâ€™s â€˜master fileâ€™ too was rejected and Sapra was told that â€œthere is no â€˜master fileâ€™â€.
Sapra then approached the CIC, which declared that the information was â€œgeneral in nature relating to land acquisition and its utility in Rohiniâ€. It criticised the DDAâ€™s casual attitude and said the information should not have been refused in the first instance itself.
The order directs the heads of the various departments to go through Sapraâ€™s application and make all files and documents related to the scheme available for inspection.
The order states that the heads of departments should appoint an officer to guide Sapra through the records and help him get the information.
The Commission noted that the original application had been directed to the Planning Department, and said that â€œhad the Department addressed the application, perhaps most of the queries would have been answeredâ€.
It noted that they (planning department) marked the application in a casual manner to another department, the OSD (Residential Land).
â€œMost of the 25,000 waiting applicants of the Rohini scheme are quite old and donâ€™t have the energy to run around. The DDA has not given us our plots, and has held back information. Now, once we get to inspect the files, weâ€™ll know it has not been able to execute the scheme even after two-and-a-half decades,â€ said Rahul Gupta, another applicant.
Provide details of 1981 Rohini residential scheme, CIC tells DDA
RTI Act unearths illegal construction
26 Aug 2007, 0148 hrs IST,TNN
LUDHIANA: Information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has unearthed serious irregularities on the part of senior officials of Ludhiana municipal corporation in allowing illegal construction in the city.
The information provided under RTI to advocate Rajesh Kumar may now land senior officials in major trouble as LMC has admitted that as per records available with it for 2001-07, no building plan was granted permission for construction of commercial building along the roads between Model Town market till Chaar Khamba and Gulati Chowk till Mintghumari Chowk.
But there are around 60 commercial establishments on these two roads and more are coming up.
Interestingly, earlier in March this year in reply to the same application, LMC had even admitted that the drawing branch of the corporation did not have any records pertaining to commercial buildings in this area.
The absence of mandatory records and non-fulfilment of legal formalities have turned these commercial establishments illegal, but LMC has not taken any action to stop such activity.
"If they have declared any area on these two roads road as commercial, then LMC must have complete records of commercial establishments. But since they have admitted that they don’t have the records of even a single building, therefore it is evident that all these constructions are illegal," Rajesh Kumar told TOI.
The applicant had filed an application to procure information under the RTI ACT in September last year, and it took LMC around nine months to deliver the final information.
Dissatisfied with the initial information provided by LMC, the applicant had knocked the doors of the State Information Commission. When contacted, principle secretary of local bodies department DS Bans said he was not in a position to comment on the irregularities without having full details about the matter.
RTI Act unearths illegal construction-Chandigarh-Cities-The Times of India