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  1. As reported by Somita Pal at mid-day.com on 2009-10-29 Blame game between political parties and BMC ensures Rs 30 lakh loss in one year In 2008 political parties plastered the city with approximately 20 lakh posters and hoardings of candidates birthdays, festival greetings, victories, welcomes, etc. Of these, just 1,590 were legal as they had taken permission from the BMC. This means, 19,98,410 posters etc were liable to pay a fine to the BMC between Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 each. However, an RTI application has revealed that not a single political party paid the fine, a loss of Rs 30 lakh approximately, to the BMC exchequer. This year too, till September 19, of the 52,788 political posters, just 1,349 had BMC permission. Here again, not a rupee was paid to the BMC a loss of Rs 12 lakh. The same was true for 2007. IT'S A TOUGH JOB: A BMC official admits that it is difficult to take action against these banners because of political pressure. There are no figures available for the pre-Assembly and post-poll posters etc., but the figure would be phenomenal. In contrast, the BMC collected Rs 51,89,901 as fines from non-political hoardings, primarily of films, product advertisements, etc. Tall claims Milind Mule (41), the RTI activist from Dadar, had filed an application seeking information on action taken against both political and non-political hoardings in the last three years and the fine collected. "I read about the BMC's claim that action would be taken against illegal hoardings, but I saw posters and hoardings everywhere and wondered about the reality. So I filed an RTI and was shocked to find that the BMC only fined those who have put up non-political hoardings." R B Bhosale, deputy municipal commissioner (Special), said, "It is very difficult to nail an offender in the case of illegal posters/banners/ hoardings. For instance, if it's a banner celebrating Vilasrao Deshmukh's birthday, we can't go and ask him to pay the fine. Even if it has the signature of the party's office-bearer's name, he washes his hands off, saying he hadn't authorised it. For non-political hoardings there is always a mention of a store or a product and it is easier to nail the offender." Another official on condition of anonymity admitted that it was difficult to take action against these banners because of political pressure. Banner/Poster Procedure Meet the ward officer and apply for permission The ward officer scrutinises the application Pay the fee (Rs 25 per sqm, deposit of Rs 55 and a ground rate of Rs 65 per sqm) The posters can then be put up keeping in mind the deadline of five days. After 5 days, the political party has to remove the poster. A fine of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 has to be paid beyond five days. No extension of the 5-day period is allowed. 5 The maximum number of days a political poster/banner can be put up Rs 52 lakh The amount that BMC collected as fines from non-political hoardings What the Law says The rules and regulation for banners/posters/ hoarding falls under sections 328 and 328 (A) of the MMC Act. No one can display hoardings / banners without the BMC's permission. The rules are: The minimum space between hoardings should be 20 metres They can't be placed on top of one another No hoardings on footpaths No posters on walls 100 banners/posters allowed per ward The Other Side Nizamuddin Ryeen, spokesperson of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee, said, "I know about the discrepancies in fining illegal political hoardings and non-political ones, but it does become difficult to find out who has authorized the hoardings. Sometimes the netas mentioned in the posters/hoardings are not even aware. I think the BMC should create awareness regarding the norms and regulation related to hoardings/posters. Why doesn't a party that spends so much money on posters and hoardings spend so little to take permission to have their banners up for a few days more? The BMC should conduct an awareness meeting." Source: 19 lakh illegal posters and not a rupee fined
  2. Atul Patankar

    Minefield of false claims

    As reported by Rajaram Satapathy at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 12 September 2009 Information obtained through the Right to Information (RTI) Act shows three years back the Union environment and forest ministry had brought illegal mining to the notice of the state government, but the latter for mysterious reasons kept mum. There were also reports recommending closure of the mines engaged in excess production flouting rules and mining in non-lease areas. That too did not move those holding the reins of power. It beggars belief how things could have got this bad, but the state had no option but to stand helplessly watching its precious mineral resources being drained off. The MoEF in a letter on December 18, 2006 had informed the state government about illegal extraction of ore in six large mines owned by the Rungta group beyond the permissible limit. The MoEF letter in fact was a later development. Three years before the state pollution control board (SPCB) itself was aware of the illegal mining. Official files indicated a designated committee of the board in which the member secretary was a member had taken note how excess production was going on at Silijora Kalimati iron and manganese mine for two years from 2003 to 2005 and ordered its closure from the following year. On March 1, 2007 a senior environment engineer of the SPCB had recommended that closure order be issued in view of the decision taken by the designated committee. Nothing happened and the mine was allowed to operate. Similar was the case with San Indupur mines where consent to operate for 2005-06 was refused for higher production. There was however no closure order issued. Preliminary estimate put the value of excess ore extracted at around Rs.2,873 crores @ Rs.6,000 and Rs 2,500 per ton of manganese and iron ore respectively. In one case (Tehrai ) it was noticed mining continued illegally without permission of any kind. Environment clearance process for the mines started from 2007-08 onwards, but they were actually in operation much before that. In case of Tehrai the consent to operate was first granted on November 29, 2007 for an annual quantity of 38,957 tons. The order was valid for just four months up to December 31, 2008. On January 18, 2007 SPCB officials visited the mine for inspection, but turned blind to the operation going on there for the last three years. Environmental clearance granted to any mine is always accompanied by the quantity of ore to be mined annually. This is done keeping in view the likely impact of mining on the local environment. Mining creates a huge quantity of overburden, sometimes three to five times of the actual ore deposit. The mining plan takes this into account and leaves overburden dump areas next to the mine where it can be stacked. In the clearance condition, the user agency is warned that violation of any condition can lead to cancellation of the environmental clearance. But in this case, the mine has extracted almost 800 to 1000 percent more ore than was permitted, affecting the local environment severely. While the SPCB was silent on the pollution problem in Keonjhar district, the state government despite the MoEF letter did nothing. "The state of pollution in Keonjhar district and the large-scale deaths of hapless people in the region daily under the wheels of the thousands of trucks carrying the ores speak volumes for the ground situation", the RTI applicant and environment activist Biswajit Mohanty said. "I had also brought the matter to the notice of the pollution control board only to be told that an inquiry had been ordered", he pointed out. Source: Minefield of false claims - Bhubaneswar - City - NEWS - The Times of India
  3. Dear Sir, This company makes perfumes worth more than 2 crore every month and sell all over india. Though they have only licence to refill perfume for a limited quantity, they are making huge quantities. not only that they use illegal banned ALCOHOL to fill perfumes and the grade alcohol they are using to refill the perfume bottles is baned in India. By using this brand 'XXXXX' or 'YYYYYYY' or ZZZZZZZ Perfumes can cause health problems We need some one to take this matter serious now. Company make perfume using illegal and baned ALCOHOL is . ABCDEFGHIJK and PQRSTUVWXYZ. Brands they make are AAAAA, BBBBB, CCCCCC, DDDDDD, XXXXX, YYYYY , ZZZZZZ , ZZZZZZ EEEE, FFFFFF, ETC Also we came to know they sell 90% of the stocks with out bill, by not paying excise duty, they dont sales tax (vat). there is so much revenue loss to India govt. I hope there is some action taken.
  4. I intend to bring the below criminal practice to your notice against Vimal Builders, Everest Developers- Mumbai and seek advice. The builder (Everest Developers) is encashing his delay on the customers by making illegal monetary demands and thereby delaying possession. He also delayed flat registration by more than two months although, flat was marketed as “ready possession”. A clause in allotment stated agreement would be entered within 15 days, however, there was unexplained significant delay. Even before entering into a sale agreement, developer surprisingly demanded balance 95% payment, which was supposed to have been made only after the registered agreement and disbursement related documents are given. Already, he had taken 26% of the total payment which is 29% of the basic flat cost payment within seven days of booking. Moreover, flat as observed during later visits is having multiple seepage defects (very poor quality construction) that were ignored for rectification despite escalations. I still await the possession post five months of booking at Jasmine, Everest Countryside- Thane. With 100% payment completion, I am tossed to end by them, on the handing over of the possession for no reason by raising unjustified illegal monetary demands stating "Interest dues for late payment". That is builder is wanting to charge interest on the customers by virtue of demand letters sent before sale agreement signoff/flat registration. I have replied to all such demand letters on interest claims and haive sought no replies. Now even post signing the possession affidavits and society formation documentation as the final round of documentation, I am asked to remit interest of a hefty figure running in lacs and not given flat keys, yet. Can I use RTI to get the possession and occupy my flat and expedite the purpose. I am anyways moving to the consumer court on the charges of deficiency of services and unfair trade practices at various levels amounting to mental agony and harrasment. I have already sent him the final notice on the same. Please help.
  5. As reported by Anindo Dey at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 3 August 2009 JAIPUR: At a time when the world is realising about the hazardous effects of mining asbestos, the state government is contemplating to approach the Centre against the ban on granting lease to asbestos mines in the state. This was revealed in a reply to an RTI application filed by one Bhanwar Singh, a resident of Pratap Nagar and an activist of the Mines Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC) in Udaipur. The state's plea for granting lease to mining of asbestos is based on a study underaken by Indian Bureau of Mines that recommends lifting of the ban on mining of chrysotile asbestos. Asbestos is currently found in three states only -- Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. While Andhra Pradesh has the Chrysolite variety of asbestos, Rajasthan produces the Amphibolite variety. In a proposal, the directorate of mines argues that on May 26, 1997, nine years after ministry of steel, mines and coal had issued directives for a ban on renewal or granting of new leases for mining asbestos, a fresh study was conducted on the impact of environment due to asbestos mining. The mines department, quoting the Indian Bureau of Mines, which conducted the study, said that there was no adverse effect on environment or on the health of workers due to asbestos mining in Rajasthan. The report also mentions that all safety measures like sprinkling of water, wet drilling, use of dust masks along with a periodic health check up of workers are done in the state. The report adds that despite the fact that asbestos is being mined in Rajasthan since the past 40 years, no report of illness has been reported from any of its workers. Moreover, the proposal says that in a meeting held on January 22, 2007, the joint secretary, mines had advocated the lifting of ban on the Chrysolite variety of asbestos found in Andhra following which the additional director had opined on lifting of the ban on the Amphibolite variety too. The state has also argued that the lifting of the ban would not only generate employment but will also bring in revenue for the state government. Studies have shown that asbestos mining has deleterious effect on the health of workers and exposes them to diseases like asbestosis which can cause death. In fact, it was in view of the adverse effects of asbestos mining on the health of the workers that the Central government directed the state governments in 1986 not to grant any new mining lease for asbestos (including chrysotile variety) in the country. In June 1993, the central government stopped the renewal of existing mining leases of asbestos. The ban was imposed in phases in 1986 and 1993 but not on its use, manufacture, export and import. But despite the ban on mining, illegal mines are operating in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Most asbestos-cement is using imported asbestos, but some of it is being sourced from the illegal mining though that is a relatively small proportion. Source: State may move Centre against ban on asbestos mines - Jaipur - City - NEWS - The Times of India
  6. My Tata Indicom Fixd Line Wireless (Walkie) was cloned for the entire May - june Month. someone kept on making phone calls through my number. I did not get even a single incoming call during that period of time. my number used to appear switched off / busy or not answring during that period. i registered a complaint at tata indicom call center but nothing happend.. neither my incoming calls were re-stored nor they resolved the cloning issue. i raised this matter to the nodal officer. then only they restored my incoming calls and corrected the cloning matter. they assured that i will not be charged any amount of the illegal usage from my phone. bill was 5000. they dont want me to pay even a single paisa. but now since for a period of 1 month i did not get any incoming call. i lost alot of business i used to get through that phone. cuz my usage for this phone is only for incoming call purpose. and now since the phone did not work for people over a month people have stopped making calls on that number and i have lost some of my very important prospective clients. my question is what should i do? can i claim my losses to tata indicom that i suffered because there were no incoming calls on that number for the entire month?? pls advice. regards,
  7. pinto77

    illegal mining

    I want to draft letter for RTI in Mangalore. Some of the people doing illegal mining of Red stones without license. How can I approach RTI. Please help me.
  8. As reported by Sukhbir Siwach, TNN at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 23 Jun 2009 CHANDIGARH: A huge state boo-boo in failing to notify the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PNDT) Act in the official gazette threatens to undo Haryana’s claim of being the first state in the country to convict a doctor under the Act. And now because of the government goof up, different courts in the state have been forced to acquit five people, while 60 other medical practitioners caught in the past 12 years await their turn to walk free. The Act is the chief statute to prevent illegal sex determination tests and female foeticide, rampant in Haryana and Punjab. In a startling revelation which exposes government functioning, the Act was notified, a mandatory exercise before implementation of law, only on March 4, 12 years after it should have been put in place. Terming arrests made so far basically illegal, Dr BM Singh, advocate in Punjab and Haryana High Court and representing some of the accused booked under PNDT Act, said, ‘‘It’s a solid ground to seek relief as government teams were not authorized to arrest doctors without a gazette notification of the Act.’’ Extracting this crucial piece of information, ammo already used by accused to be let off the hook, from health department under the RTI Act, Singh added, ‘‘No notification means that the appropriate authority (civil surgeon), as defined in PNDT Act, neither has legal jurisdiction nor powers to act against violators.’’ Coming as a boon for those facing prosecution, the RTI reply is reportedly being tabled in court to contest cases. “The government has admitted in court that no gazette notification of 1997 is available. The order of appointment of appropriate authority is also not notified, rendering illegal all actions taken by designated officers,” said Gopal Krishan, chief judicial magistrate of Sirsa, while discharging Dr Sanjeev Kaushal on March 19. Source: Haryana stands to lose PNDT glory to technical blunder - Chandigarh - Cities - The Times of India
  9. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 10 Jun 2009 CHENNAI: A relentless campaign by a right to information (RTI) activist has led to the removal of an illegal cremation shed that lay in the midst of an approved residential layout in Palavakkam for five years. The shed, which was removed on May 28, was put up by some fishermen inside the VGP layout in 2004 with the blessings of a local politician. They had encroached on a portion of the road and set up the shed abutting the compound wall of a house. Despite repeated pleas from plot owners, the panchayat did not remove the encroachment. There is an authorised cremation shed, open to all sections of society, close to the same layout. However, the encroachers insisted on cremating dead bodies inside the plot. T Retna Pandian, general secretary of 5th Pillar India, a non-governmental organisation that fights corruption, took up the case for the removal of the shed in 2007. He first filed an RTI application in the Palavakkam panchayat, seeking details as to whether the panchayat had authorised anyone to put up the cremation shed. While describing the shed as an illegal structure, the panchayat, in its reply to Pandian, stopped short of giving any assurance on its removal. Pandian followed it up with a series of RTI applications to the Tambaram tahsildar, St Thomas Mount block development officer and Kancheepuram district collector. Passing orders on an appeal filed by Pandian, the state information commission, on March 14, 2008, asked the Kancheepuram district collector to personally examine the case. Pandian, meanwhile, also moved the Madras high court and obtained an order on April 2, 2008, directing the collector to remove the encroachment. Pandian followed it up with another RTI application to the collector, seeking details of action taken. When no convincing reply was forthcoming, Pandian filed yet another appeal to the information commission. Passing orders on the appeal on March 13 this year, the commission imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the collector's PA for "collusive inaction and unwillingness on the part of the public authority to enforce the law of the land." (TOI had carried this report earlier.) The commission also instructed the chief secretary of the state to initiate appropriate action in the case of illegal encroachment. Finally, on May 28, based on the collector's order, the Palavakkam panchayat authorities removed the cremation shed. Officials from the Tambaram taluk office supervised the works. Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Campaign-leads-to-removal-of-illegal-cremation-shed/articleshow/4637379.cms
  10. hi i am residing in south mumbai and in my building the landlord has kept and rent collected to which a small house was given in the back side of the building now he had extend and taken the hole back side of the building and had connect wate connection form comman water line. i just want to know where i can get info about the construction is legally obtain and if it is illegal then where to complaint how does RTI will help me in this case. please help in this case any legail action i can take.
  11. As reported by Dhanya Nair at Express India - Latest News, India News, Indian Cricket, World, Entertainment, Business & Finance News on 07 June 2009 Mumbai For over five years, around 20,000 families living near Pestom Sagar in Chembur faced chronic problems of noise and air pollution coming from nearby illegal commercial garages and workshops. Their repeated complaints to the civic authorities failed to bring any relief. Irked by the indifference from the authorities, the residents filed a Right to Information (RTI) plea and have now got their way. The civic officials have admitted that the RTI information will help them to come strongly against the illegal garages. “We have been fighting tooth and nail to ensure that our neighborhood is free of any noise and air pollution. There are around 15-20 garages here which were constantly engaging in activities that disturb the sanctity of the place. They would also encroach on the footpaths to further their business,” said Dr Vijay Sangole, joint secretary of the Pestom Sagar Residents Forum. The residents would keep complaining to the local ward office and would get only temporary relief. “We needed some long term solution, while civic officials would come and issue warnings, and things would go back to square one within days,” said Dr Sangole. About four months ago the situation became graver when the garages started expanding their business. This is when they decided to file the RTI. “We found out that not only these shops didn’t have relevant license but also that most of our complaints had gone in vain as action against these garages were taken only twice in the last five years,” said G R Gaonkar, member of the senior citizens association in the area. “Whenever we approached the civic officials in the past, they would only give us ambiguous answers. But taking the RTI route has indeed been fruitful,” Gaonkar added. The civic officials admitted that RTI results helped them against the illegal garages. “The RTI application clearly stated that these establishments were operating without licenses. Not only that, they had encroached upon the footpaths violating more rules. By next week we will ensure they stop their business in the area,” said a civic official requesting anonymity. The residents have more than one reason to cheer now, as not only their action will ensure less pollution but it will also that there is no water logging during the monsoons. “The garages, that had encroached on footpaths and narrow bylanes, would also cause the problem of water logging every monsoon as they would indiscriminately throw metal and other junk on the road sides and the nullahs. So, with them gone even water logging problem is solved,” Dr Sangole said. Source: RTI rescues Chembur locals from illegal garages - Express India
  12. As reported by Manoj More at www.expressindia.com on May 24, 2009 Pune Civic activists say that’s not possible, he won’t act; already the issue has been pending in the GB for a year, PCMC chief says await action After hammering down illegal constructions of an NCP corporator in Phugewadi last week, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma is now staring at illegal constructions of 24 corporators belonging to different political parties. While the PCMC chief said he has launched a survey to locate the illegal constructions of the corporators, civic activists and civic conscious citizens in the twin township are sceptical about civic administration initiating any action in the matter. Many of them believed that it will be difficult for Sharma to show “guts” especially in view of the fact that State assembly elections are fast approaching and the fact that most of the errant corporators belong to the NCP which enjoys an absolute majority in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. And it is because of this majority, NCP corporators have not even allowed any discussions over the illegal constructions in the civic general body meetings. “Since March last year when the issue came to the fore, the NCP corporators have not allowed any discussions in the general body meetings. They keep adjourning the issue. Because of these adjournments, the issue has remained pendings for over a year now,” PCMC’s Independent corporator Maruti Bhapkar said on Saturday. Bhapkar said it was then municipal commissioner Dilip Band who had placed the facts about illegal constructions before the general body meetings in March 2008. The facts had come to light after a citizen moved an RTI application before the PCMC administration. “This clearly means that the PCMC is fully aware of the illegal constructions. Then why does Sharma need to carry out any survey? He should straightaway act. But I don’t think he will dare to do that. The NCP will get him transferred even if he makes an attempt to pull down the structures,” alleged Bhapkar. Bhapkar said Band had placed the facts about illegal constructions before the general body meeting seeking permission to go ahead in the matter. “After the general body gives its approval, the proposal will then go before a court. The PCMC will then have to act as per the directions of a court. This comes under Sections 11 and 12 of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act,” Bhapkar said. Like Bhapkar, Sachin Godambe, a civic activist from Bhosari, said Sharma can act only when he gets the ruling party’s support. “But since ruling party’s corporators are involved in this ugly activity, how will the PCMC administration get a go ahead in the matter?. If Sharma takes the initiative, it will create problems for him. But I think Sharma should prove his mettle by demolition the corporators’ illegal structures,” he said. Sharing his views is D G Baliga, a veteran civic activist from Pimpri. “Since Sharma assumed office, I haven’t heard any strong action from him. At least, during Dilip Band’s tenure we witnessed several solid actions like the demolition of hundreds of structures to widen the Pune-Mumbai highway and the Pune-Nashik highway. Sharma should take a cue from Band’s book and pull down corporators illegal structures,” said Baliga. Dr Shriram Pandey, president of the Right to Information Forum, said, “Sharma has the guts, but he should utilise it for public good. Generally, IAS officers don’t to ruffle the feathers of political leaders. So any action seems unlikely.” Pandey said there are thousands of illegal structures in Pimpri-Chinchwad which also need immediate attention from the civic administration. Sharma, whose year long tenure so far had been free of controversy, said following the high court judgement in the Phugewadi case, his administration was planning action against others illegal structures. “We will have to act...This will be done after the survey is completed,” Sharma said. Source: Will Sharma show ‘guts’ to demolish corporators’ unauthorised structures? - Express India
  13. As reported by G Saravanan at www.expressbuzz.com on 02 June 2009 CHENNAI: Two buildings located on Anna Salai and Arcot Road, which were constructed in contravention to Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority regulations have ‘escaped’ demolition for the last two decades as files relating to them have mysteriously been either ‘destroyed’ or ‘misplaced.’ R Natarajan, a research scholar who unearthed the startling details, told The New Indian Express that he had lodged a complaint with the CMDA seeking details about the illegal buildings and, when the agency refused to reveal the facts, also filed an RTI application in May 2008. The agency then tried to delay its response using every option available. Irked over the CMDA’s attitude, Natarajan moved the State Information Commission, which ordered the agency to issue free copies of the files. During the commission’s hearing, the CMDA admitted for the first time that one of the files related to an illegal building had been destroyed and that a file of another building was ‘missing’ since 1994. The CMDA did not state who had authorised the file to be destroyed. The RTI reply also revealed that the agency had claimed falsely that the buildings had been demolished in the early 1990s. However, a senior official in the CMDA denied any wrongdoing in both the cases. Asked about the file that was destroyed, the official said, “based on the government’s order, every agency usually destroys files to minimise the load on the archives section and this file could have fallen under some category by which it had to be destroyed.” On the missing file, the official said that it could still be traced from the archives. Source: CMDA files on ?demolished? buildings gone
  14. ashish.agarwal

    Illegal Shop in Wanwadi Bazar

    Hi, I am a resident of Wanwadi bazar in Pune Cantonment Area. I have a shop at Sr.No. 58 in Wanwadi Bazar. There is a Shop that has been put up on the pavement right oppposite my shop. Its a stall ( which has no valid name or liscence) . This shop has been creating nuisance to us. This shop was moved by the cantonment board a few months ago but after a few days he has set up the shop again and now much more bigger. When i had contacted the person from the Cantonment board we were advised about the elections being round the corner and they cannot afford to have aggression between people. I need to know how can i get the information and file a RTI inquiry for the following: 1)How many stalls have been allowed in the bazaar. 2) When the shop was removed by the cantonment board a few months before how did he manage to put it up again. 3) When stalls are not allowed to be put up on footpaths then how is the cantonment authorities allowing this. 4) Does he have a valid liscence to run the shop. 5) I see that most of the officers and workers from cantonment visit his shop. Can someone help me and advise how i can go about and finding this information. Eagerly waiting . Ashish Agarwal
  15. There are lot of illegal stalls and unauthorised structures outside Khar station coming up with aid of local politicians. What to do? In the morning the station is teaming with millions of labourers waiting to be picked up and making it impossible for commuters to enter or exit the station. How to get the BMC to do its job of clearing the illegal stalls and making the open space available for the public.
  16. Atul Patankar

    Here's how the BMC gets a bad name

    As reported by Shailendra Bhatia at www.mid-day.com on February 22, 2009 Mumbai: Officials bend the rules, allow a restaurant to run on a tea-stall's license Residents of sector 2, Kandivali (W), were in for an unpleasant surprise when they made inquiries about an alleged encroachment on public space in their neighbourhood. Turned out that the man allegedly responsible was their local BMC official, assistant engineer Manoj Kamath. When they filed an RTI, the response (Sunday MiD DAY has a copy), revealed that the encroaching eatery was running on a tea stall license issued in the name of the BMC engineer's wife: Neha Manoj Kamath. Local activist and RTI complainant, Reji Abraham, president of United Association for Social Education and Public Welfare says it took him over six months to collect paperwork implicating the accused. "Higher-up officials have been shielding Kamath. I have copies of statements issued by the BMC officials that the illegal structure has been removed, but I have photographs showing this to be false," he says. When contacted, Manoj Kamath brushed aside the allegations and stated that no illegal encroachments had been carried out by him. And, that though he did not have the requisite license for the eatery, it had been applied for. Local Assistant Commissioner BMC (R South), V Shankarwar, says action had already been initiated against the establishment. "The controversial encroachment was apparently made on the pretext of a monsoon cover, which has to be eventually removed by whoever is running the establishment". Shankarwar added that he was not aware of the discrepancy in the license and the actual nature of business being carried out, and directed the inquiry to his health department, which confirmed that the eatery was in fact conducting business on a tea stall license. Investigations carried out by Sunday MiD DAY have revealed that Manoj Kamath was the first BMC official to be fined for not revealing information under the Right to Information Act. Kamath, who worked in the buildings and factory department at H (West) ward, Bandra, before being transferred to Borivili/Dahisar area was ordered to pay Rs 25,000 and reveal the information within five days to the complainant, Aftab Siddiqui, chairperson of Advanced Locality Management (ALM) 144 in Khar (West). "I had filed two complaints with the department at the ward alleging illegal construction in MK Building on 33rd Road. With no action taken, I filed an application under the RTI Act and Kamath, on behalf of the department, replied that his department did not have the requisite information," recalls Siddiqui. Siddiqui eventually approached the commission on March 7, 2007, which heard the case and imposed a fine on Kamath; this has now become a landmark judgment in the RTI crusade. Source : Here's how the BMC gets a bad name
  17. As reported by CJ Ravi Nair BMC has issued notices to Reliance Energy and MTNL for paying the penalty imposed on these companies for illegal excavation of a trench at Chimatpada Road in Andheri. This comes after an RTI was filed, exposing the lackadaisical attitude of BMC A RIGHT to Information (RTI) application has exposed the lackadaisical attitude of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not recovering their dues, in the form of penalty charges imposed on Reliance Energy and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) for the illegal excavation of a trench at Chimatpada Road in Andheri. I had notified the trench (road digging) officer about the illegal excavation on the roads by these companies. Then I filed an RTI application, demanding the documents for the recovery of dues for the illegal excavation on the roads by the companies. I demanded photocopies of the debit/sap voucher, confirming that BMC has recovered the penalty amount from Reliance Energy in the stipulated time period for recovering the same, after issuing the letter under the Right to Information Act. In its response, the BMC has stated that letters have already been sent to MTNL Ltd and Reliance Energy and the same will be recovered from the amount, which the companies had deposited with BMC in due course. The BMC has issued a letter to Reliance Energy and MTNL for paying the penalty amounting to Rs 16,351 from Reliance Energy Limited and Rs 4,21,740 from MTNL. But the BMC has not recovered these dues. The dues are still pending. I have been filing the RTI applications right from the month of May but still they have not provided the documents about the recovery of penalty, the penalty was supposed to be recovered within three days of issuing the letter to the companies, failing in which the amount should have been recovered from the deposit of the companies. But the corporation has still not recovered their dues. If the letter stated that the amount will be recovered within three days, then why have they still not recovered it? RB Dhakane, the assistant municipal commissioner (K East) Ward was not available for comment. Source; http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=151860
  18. As reported by R Dutta Choudhury in assamtribune.com on 5 August 2008: The Assam Tribune Online Foreigners’ detection, deportation a farce GUWAHATI, Aug 4 – The process of detection and deportation of foreigners from Assam has turned into a major farce with only a small number of persons declared as foreigners by the tribunals could be deported and with no provision to detain the suspected foreigners, they manage to escape easily to avoid deportation. The records made available by the Border Police in response to questions put under the provisions of the Right to Information Act (RTI) by The Assam Tribune clearly expose the fact that the process of deportation of foreigners has become a total farce as majority of the persons declared as foreigners can easily make good their escape by taking advantage of the loopholes in the system. As per records available, during the period from 1985 to July, 2005, as many as 12,846 persons were declared as foreigners by the tribunals under the provisions of the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act and only 1547 of them could be deported. No one has any record of the whereabouts of the rest and police believes that they might be staying either in Assam or in the rest of the country. The Border Police response on their whereabouts is, “ all the district superintendents of police have been instructed to trace out the untraced declared foreigners and deport them from Assam”. However, it is evident that detection of the untraced persons for their deportation will be next to impossible. The records reveal that during the period from 1986 to March this year, more than 30,000 persons were declared foreigners under the provisions of the Foreigners Act. if them, 12440 registered themselves with the FRROs and 674 were deported. But no one has any record of the remaining 17,000 persons and they must be staying in the State. Though the IMDT Act was always considered to be a major hurdle in the way of detection and deportation of foreigners, the situation has not improved since the Supreme Court scrapped the Act. As per records available, the foreigners living in the State are now detected under the provisions of the Foreigners’ Act and after the scrapping of the IMDT, as many as 14,789 cases were registered against suspected foreigners and were referred to the Tribunals established under the Foreigners’ Act. Up to March this year, the Tribunals declared 1205 persons as foreigners but only one of them could be deported and no one knows what happened to the rest. However, during the period from 1985 to March this year, 26,783 fresh and re-infiltrators were detected and deported to Bangladesh. Meanwhile, official sources admitted before The Assam Tribune that the Foreigners’ Act would have to be amended to make the process of detection and deportation of foreigners more effective. Sources said that there is no provision for arresting anyone under the provisions of the Foreigners’ Act and some of the suspected foreigners escape immediately after receiving notices from the Tribunals. Of course, some of them contest their cases in the Tribunals and majority of those go into hiding after they are declared as foreigners. Sources said that to make the system effective, the Act would have to be amended to allow keeping suspects in detention camps. Another major problem is in deportation of foreigners. Sources said that Government of India does not have any push back of extradition treaty with Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Rifles always refuses to accept Bangladeshi nationals to be pushed back to that country. This forces the Indian security forces to push back Bangladeshi nationals forcefully and very often they manage to re-infiltrate by taking advantage of the porous international border. The situation will definitely improve considerably if the Government of India manages to sign a pushback or extradition treaty with the Government of Bangladesh, sources pointed out. The rate of pushback was much better when Bangladesh was not created. In only two years from 1962 to 1964, the Border police, created under the Prevention of Infiltration of Pakistanis scheme, managed to deport 1,13,617 foreigners to then East Pakistan and BSF was deployed along the international border only after the war with Pakistan in 1965. However, the rate of detection and deportation of foreigners slowed down after the creation of Bangladesh.
  19. With great fanfare, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited had a few months back launched a drive to detect power thefts across the State to nab and fine those who use electricity illegally. But MSEDCL apparently closed its eyes to the going-ons within as it has now come to light that the company itself has been supplying around 2.5 mega watt of electricity to 195 "unauthorised" sawmills in and around Pune city every day. The shocking revealation came to light after Mahesh Mahajan, an activist and founder of Friends of Nature Association, filed a Right to Information Act (RTI) application with the forest department in May 2007, which provided him with the information that there are 195 unauthorised sawmills operating in and around Pune. He has also brought the issue of illegal power supply to sawmills to the notice of the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC). "I had sought information from the forest department regarding as to how many unauthorised sawmills are operating in and around Pune. I filed the application in May 2007 and received the information that there are 195 sawmills in the Pune division of the forest dept. After this, we carried out a survey to check the real situation and found out that within Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, there are 150 unauthorised sawmills while the rest are in the adjoining areas like Talegaon Dabhade. In some cases, we also observed that the electricity supply is reconnected for office use and then the same is being used for unauthorised saw mills on the premises." Of the 150 illegal saw mills in Pune and PCMC limits, 100 are in Pune city while the remaining ones are in PCMC limits and each sawmill consumes electricity in the range of 75 KW to 150 KW. When contacted, MSEDCL chief engineer of Pune Division R B Gautam said, "We are aware of this issue. MSEDCL and the forest department together are going to launch a survey to get the complete picture. We will come out with a report in a couple of days based on which we will initiate our action. We will disconnect the power supply of the defaulters." With survey report and facts from forest department in his possession, Mahajan took up the issue of illegal sawmills with MSEDCL office in Pune on November 27. When no action was initiated, activists gheraoed MSEDCL officials in Talegaon Dabhade. "We argued that when Talegaon Dabhade was facing load-shedding for 7-8 hours, why were illegal sawmills being catered to?" Giving into the pressure, MSEDCL disconnected supply of two unauthorised saw mills in Talegaon. "In all, they might have disconnected the power supply of 29 sawmills so far. However , they have not initiated any action against the sawmills in city areas," he said. 195 illegal sawmills getting power supply from MSEDCL
  20. . There is a strong dispute regarding the membership of the Metropolitan Co operative Housing society, ffice:smarttags" />Canal South Road,Kolkata-105. In this regard it may be mentioned that the Hon’ble Justice Sri B.P.Banerjee directed ---- “ to cancel the membership of any of the members if it was found that the membership of any of the members were inducted illegally and in contravention of the provisions of the Act and/or the Rules in this behalf”(Dated 30th January, 1985) Corrupt Managing Committee preferred an appeal against this Order of the Hon’ble Justice Sri B.P.Banerjee . Afterwards Hon’ble Justice Sri Anil Kumar Sen and Hon’ble Justice Sri Samir Kumar Mookherjee further clarified in their judgment … “ there is a strong dispute regarding the membership. This dispute has not been resolved nor could it be resolved by the Special Officer appointed by this Court. This could be resolved only by the Registrar, Co-operative Societies. Such being the position, an election held without a resolution of such dispute regarding the membership should not be allowed to be implemented. (FMAT/299/1985 dated 30/.09/1085) As per the affidavit submitted by the ARCS. C.M.A.H on behalf of the Registrar of Co operative Societies , West Bengal there was 411 undisputed members and 201 disputed members in the Metropolitan Co op Housing Society. On contesting hearing of all the concerned parties, including the RCS, Hon’ble Justice Sri S.K.Mookherjee and Hon’ble Justice A.Chakraborti directed to “ hold election after elimination of disqualified members ---“ (FMAT/299/1985 dated 22.07.1994) I asked to have following information as per Right To Information Act, 2005. 1. How did the Registrar of Co operative Societies resolve the membership dispute of the Metropolitan Co op Housing following the direction given by the Hon’ble Court time to time ? Names of the total disqualified members, “ who have been inducted illegally and in contravention of the provisions of Act and /or the Rules in this behalf”? 2 Please provide me the authenticated list of the members whose membership has been eliminated by the RCS , as per the above mentioned verdict. In response to the application submitted for furnishing above information , the Registrar of Co op. Societies , at the instance of SPIO’s memo, furnished following information:---- The record does not reveal that the Registrar of Co operative Societies finally resolved the membership dispute . As per no 1, question does not arise. It has been proved without any doubt that the election held without following the High Court’s specific direction. That means --- Such being the position, an election held without a resolution of such dispute regarding the membership should not be allowed to be implemented. (FMAT/299/1985 dated 30/.09/1085) Most interesting point is that as a Govt. Administrator of Metropolitan Coop Hsg. Soc, who conducted the election ; later on after getting two promotions he as a Registrar informed that Registrar did not finally resolve the membership dispute. So , now it ios very clear from the above that how a govt officer disobeyed the Hon’ble Division Bench ‘s specific direction. So, only by using RTI Act, this confession could be received, which will be used in the pending case , which was filed against the election which was held ‘ disregarding the HC verdict ‘ We are waiting for next course of action.-------Abhijeet
  21. Mumbai: Police posts in Mumbai are breaking the law. More than 300 police posts (beat chowkies) in the city have no sanction either from the home department or the municipal corporation. Around 21 police posts have been built from funds provided by builders and private companies. That’s the startling fact Mumbai resident Indur Kartar Chhugani got from the state Home Ministry after filing a Right to Information (RTI) application. "These chowkies have been constructed without BMC permissions and they do not pay municipal tax. They steal power from nearby shops, buildings or lamp-posts and many of them have been funded by some builder or with someone with a vested interest," says Chhugani. The Home ministry has neither funded nor given approval to any beat chowkie in Mumbai. No information on approval received for these chowkies from the municipal ward office. Chhugani has filed a public interest litigation before the Bombay high court that these beat chowkies be demolished. "How will any complaint ever get registered against these builders or goons who sponsor these chowkies?" he says. 300 police posts in Mumbai illegal, unauthorised
  22. RTI Act unearths illegal construction 26 Aug 2007, 0148 hrs IST,TNN [/url] 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
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