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Workshop on RTI in Malda

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As reported by Statesman News Service in thestatesman.net on 12 September 2008:

The Statesman

 

Workshop on RTI in Malda

 

MALDA, Sept. 12: Dr M N Roy, principal secretary of rural and panchayat department, has requested all district magistrates and zilla parishad sabhadhipatis to conduct training and awareness programme on Right to Information Act (RTI Act 2005) for panchayat officials upto gram panchayats immediately.

 

Quoting a recent verdict of the West Bengal Information Commission in connection with a case, Sunil Kumar Sahish and Gopal Mahato versus Hensla gram panchayat in Purulia, in his letter (issued on 2 Sept.'08) Dr, Roy said, “Undoubtedly the matter is very serious. It is evident that the panchayat officer bearers do not have sufficient knowledge about the RTI Act”.

 

“We have been asking to train the panchayat officials repeatedly. Now authorities would have to train all of them soon,” Dr Roy said in his letter.

The matter came to light in an interactive session during an orientation-training programme to discuss the object, purpose and functioning of the RTI Act at Malda college auditorium today.

 

Discussing details about RTI Act and its functioning between information seekers and information providers the speakers repeatedly mentioned that ASPIO, SPIO or PIO should always try to covey information within 30 days, incase of any delay, the information providers will be liable to a penalty.

 

Main speaker Mr Subrata Kundu, Development research Communication and Services Centre, presented detail functioning of RTI Act and duties of information providers in the workshop today.

 

The district would organise another programme on 18 September.

 

Government officials from various department and panchayat officials came to attend the programme today and interacted with the speakers. Several cases came up at the workshop. The nodal official Mr Pratyarpan Singha Roy has urged them to refer such cases to the district headquarters soon.

According to the officials, the West Bengal Information Commission has planned to make date base on total number of applications received and number of information providers district wise. At present it has not accurate information about applications.

 

From the interactive session another information came out that information providers have not been appointed in many sectors including the municipalities such as English Bazaar and Old Malda in this district.

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