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Atul Patankar posted a topic in RTI in MediaAs reported at news.in.msn.com on 15/02/2011 New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) The Central Water Commission has said it has no "principles or guidelines" for conducting study on the assessment of backwater flooding of dams and hydroelectric projects in the country. Responding to the query of an RTI applicant who sought to know from the Commission the basis on which such studies are done in the country, the Commission said no such principles or guidelines are available with them. It said the Commission''s role is confined to�the computation of backwater levels for specified projects for their given flood water maps. Backwater studies are important because they bring out possible impact of reservoir on the areas close to upstream which may be flooded because of the construction. The Commission also refused to share the data about the impact of the controversial Almatti reservoir on the backwater area which was overruled by the Central Information Commission. The transparency panel held that larger public interest would be served in the disclosure of the data and hence it should be provided to the applicant. In addition to seeking details of principles and guidelines governing the backwater studies, applicant Swarup Bhattacharya had also sought from the CWC a�copy�of the backwater impact study on the Almatti Dam. The CWC refused to share information saying it is a commercial document, hence exempted from disclosure under the Right to Information Act. During the appeal before the CIC, the CWC said since the study was done by them for the Karnataka Government based on data provided by them, the information cannot be disclosed. "The Commission is also of the view that the sought information is now held by the CWC, since it is a part of the study conducted by the CWC. The data has now become a part of the report of the CWC since it is part of the study... irrespective of who had supplied it," Information Commissioner Sushma Singh held. She said the disclosure of the information was in public interest and it should be disclosed. In a ruling in December last year, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) had allowed Karnataka, where the dam is being built, to increase the height of reservoir by five metres. The increase in dam height has sparked concerns as people living in the 320 villages of backwater area of Kolhapur and Sangli district of Maharashtra feared that their it will result in flooding in their area.
As reported by Amit Singh at mid-day.com on 1 June 2010 Even in Delhi, the nation's power centre, few can flaunt a convoy of seven cars. But, if you are a union minister it is not that difficult a feat, even if you are not entitled to such luxury. Union minister of state for agriculture KV Thomas has at his disposal seven cars, six of them official ambassadors and a taxi, belonging to different public sector units (PSUs). The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions had sent a memorandum to all union ministries on February 22 stating that officials of the central government cannot access the infrastructure or facilities owned by the central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). "The ministries /departments are accordingly requested to issue suitable instructions to all concerned for not utilising the infrastructure of any CPSEs by the officers/staff in the government departments and that any such use shall attract suitable action against them," the order read. Snooping activist Based on that direction, 15 RTI applications were filed with different departments under the ministry of agriculture seeking details of how many vehicles belonging to different CPSEs were in use by the union minister, the details of the vehicles etc. The RTIs, filed with Department of Consumer affairs, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Department ofAgriculture and Cooperation, Central Warehousing Corporation and Food Corporation of India, exposed how MoS Agriculture was using seven cars in all, three of which belong to the CPSEs. Thomas is using three ambassador cars, two belonging to the Food Corporation of India and one from Central Warehousing Corporation. The Food Corporation of India, in its reply to the RTI, said: "One official vehicle has been placed at the disposal of the office of the Hon'ble Minister of State for Agriculture, CAF&PD... Whereas for the office of Hon'ble MoS, we have provided a DLY Taxi from May 2009 for regular usage on a monthly basis." The Central Warehousing Corporation also replied in the affirmative that it has provided a car for Thomas. Apart from three cars belonging to the CPSEs, Thomas has four vehicles belonging to Department of Agriculture, Food, Consumer Affairs and Indian Council for Agricultural Research. By order The gag order from the DoPT had also asked ministries/departments to return any manpower or other facilities owned by the CPSEs "already being availed by the ministries concerned at the earliest and definitely before March 31, 2010." "It was amazing how the minister (Thomas) had so many vehicles at his disposal. The infrastructure of the central public sector enterprises belongs to the public and no minister is allowed to use it for his/her personal usage," said RK Jain, the RTI applicant. "It is ironic that the same government that runs austerity drives turns a blind eye to such misuse of public resources. I must say that we have nothing personal against Thomas, but all officials in the public domain should adopt exemplary practices," he added. The Other Side "It is very difficult to keep track of each and every thing that happens in the ministry. Earlier there were two MoS in the Agriculture Ministry but now I am single-handedly looking after all the departments. However, I will ask my private secretary to look into the matter and initiate an inquiry." - Prof KV Thomas, Minister of State for Agriculture What the rule book says The rules stipulate that the use of staff cars is not permissible for journeys to places of entertainment, public amusements, parties, pleasure trips etc. Journeys for purpose of shopping or taking children to schools would also fall in the prohibited category. The use of staff cars for such purpose, even on payment, is not envisaged. The rules contemplate certain situations in which staff cars may be used on non-duty purposes but on payment, provided official requirements are not interfered with in any way, for instance, occasional journeys performed by officers from their residence to offices and vice versa and urgent visits to hospitals.
Saby11 posted a question in Ask for RTI SupportHello Everyone. I am Sebastian. I would really appreciate anyone who can help me out with information on this situation. I would like to ask for information under the RTI regarding the rules and regulations of the CWC. (Child Welfare Committee). I would like to find out the procedure that the CWC follows in releasing an orphan child who is under the care of a particular organization. I understand that according to the JJ act (Juvenile Justice Act), there is no legal adoption for a child who is over the age of 18. I wish to get details as to why no release orders or reports regarding that child have been sent to the CWC by that particular organization. My wife and I have been donors and volunteers with this organizarion since early 2006. There was a bond that formed between us, and this particular child who wishes to be part of our family. This particular organization is aware of our intentions to accept and support the child as parents (or foster parents, whichever may be the legal term used). Our child is 19 years old now (not really a child of course) but has not had a release order yet. This child still has to go by what the office bearers of the organization think is best for her though she is legally an adult. This case is being passed back and forth from our child's parent orphanage and the one that she presently is since the last 8 to 9 years, and the IJM. No one seems to be bothered about this and we have received no satisfactory answers from anyone. To take things further, The IJM has stepped in and seems to have taken all the children in this particular cottage under their wing. As of now, the matter is bouncing back and forth from the parent orphanage, the present one and the IJM. The IJM staff say that the orphanage has to send reports and applications for the release order which the organization has not, the Orphanage says that they are now under the IJM, and office bearers of our child's parent orphanage pitch in one in a while to make their presence felt. All this in the name of "SAVING" the girl child !! Our offers to sponsor her courses are not well accepted, since her inclination is towards the creative arts, and the organization states that financial hurdles and the fact that other inmates will make unreasonable demands which they will not be able to handle and eventually they will be accused of being biased towards this child. Besides this, the creative arts are not considered a career option. We see it as a case of squashing the problem instead of finding a solution or working towards one. We are not "Adopting" her. We are only trying to bring our daughter home. Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated. Regards, Sebastian Email:(Posting of mail ids is against forum rules-hence deleted)
As reported at indianexpress.com on Jan 27, 2010 Chennai : Three years after they were brought to Tamil Nadu with the promise of a better future, 76 children from strife-torn areas of Manipur and Assam are getting ready to go back home. The children, all boys aged between 10 and 14, were lodged at the Bedesta Blessing Home in Kanyakumari, an unrecognised children’s home which was raided by the officials from the Social Welfare Department and members of Child Welfare Committee (CWC) on Sunday. It was a query under the RTI about the home having the necessary permission to run such a service that brought the district social welfare officer to Bedesta’s doorsteps. The home neither had the infrastructure, nor the mandatory clearances under Juvenile Justice Act and Orphanages and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act, said officials. “The children were being sent to a nearby school, but were not even provided basic facilities like sanitation or space for so many children. Some complained they were made to work. We are sending them all back to their parents,” said Shakila Banu, district juvenile home officer. A man named Shaji, who was looking after the children home, is charged with child trafficking and is being questioned about the motive behind running the shelter without the necessary permission. The children, 22 from Assam and the rest from Manipur, were brought to Tamil Nadu from the border villages in 2006. “In all, it is reported that 150 children were brought to the state by one Pastor Paul. They first came to Chennai and stayed at a home there till last year. When the funding ceased, Paul sent the boys to Shaji,” said Fr Joseph Johnson, a member of the CWC that raided Bedesta on Sunday, and director of an accredited children’s home. All the children lodged at Bedesta were boys. “We have been told that the girls were taken to a shelter in Bangalore. The police will have to investigate that,” said Johnson. His orphanage, Saranalayam, is the reception unit taking care of the children and trying to find out more about their families. The elder boys know a bit of English that has enabled the rescue team to learn some details. Officials said they will ask for help from Childline officials in Assam and Manipur, the social welfare departments and Red Cross to trace the children’s parents. Source: 76 N-E children ‘freed’ in Chennai