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BMP falters in sharing information under RTI Act

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BANGALORE: The Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) has not streamlined its system for sharing information with the public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

 

The civic body continues to be pulled up by Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) to bring in accountability, more than a year after the Act was implemented.

 

In its recent order, KIC told BMP to accept application fee in cash.

 

Under RTI, the application fees is Rs 10 and it can be paid by cash or through Indian Postal Order.

 

While the civic body accepted cash till recently, the RTI cell is now demanding IPOs or payment through bank challans.

 

Many applicants face problems, as IPOs of Rs 10 denomination are in short supply and challan needs to be cleared by three officials in BMP accounts department.

 

Many RTI applicants are asked to pay application fees through IPOs, since Rs 10 denomination IPOs are not available and they are forced to buy Rs 20 IPOs.

 

Further, cash payment for information sheet is not accepted.

 

Mahithi Hakku Adhyana Kendra recently sought information from Bangalore Mahanagara Palike executive engineer (Projects) and the officer demanded payment only by challan, which involved the purchase of challans and filling them, scrutiny by PIO and further scrutiny by accounts department.

 

Thereafter, countersignature of two officers including the accounts officer were needed. Usually, the information comprises two-three pages and the copying charges is Rs 2-4. The banks, too, find it difficult to handle challans for these small sums.

 

The KIC has ordered the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner to introduce a system by which cash is accepted and compliance report is filed within a month.

(Source: The New Indian Express, Bangalore, Jan.17,2006)

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