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  1. "Information obtained through the RTI Act has revealed that the CoP has issued no no-objection certificate (NOC) for the movement of barges carrying coal in the River Tiracol. In fact, no company has applied for a NOC to be able to transport coal, but the same continues on the river with no regard for the law of the land," said Sachin Parab of the Keri Tiracol Gram Bachao Samiti. Read at: With no help from govt, Keri locals turn to God - The Times of India
  2. RTI should be appreciated: Goa CM Despite allegations that the Right to Information (RTI) Act was being misused for extortion and harassment, the law should be appreciated in a big way, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said. Parsekar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function organised to inaugurate the new premises of the state information commission in Panaji. "Goa has good literacy that is why the law is being used well and should be used well. Some sections allege that the law is being used to trouble or extort. But it happens only in one or two percent of cases," Parsekar said. He said the government was in the process of appointing two new information commissioners within a fortnight. Parsekar said he was also contemplating giving an extension to Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Leena Mehendale if the RTI act provides such an option. Mehendale was appointed as the CIC in October 2013 and is expected to demit office in end of this month, when she will turn 65, the upper age limit for CICs, according to the RTI act.
  3. MARGAO: RTI activist Jovette D'Souza was allegedly assaulted with a stick and a penknife by Colva panchayat member Menino Fernandes along with seven others after waylaying him at Colva, Tuesday evening. While D'Souza has been admitted to the Hospicio Hospital, Margao, for treatment, Fernandes was arrested on Wednesday and later released on bail. Read at: RTI activist ?assaulted? by Colva p?yat member - The Times of India
  4. With the aim of increasing awareness about the Right to Information Act in Goa, Goa RTI forum has initiated a 15-day membership drive to take the organization across to all corners of Goan society, secretary Ganpat Kurtiker said in a press release. Read more at: RTI forum initiates membership drive - The Times of India
  5. As reported by Murari Shetye in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 29 June 2013: Three member panel to select RTI officials notified - Times Of India Three member panel to select RTI officials notified PANAJI: The state government has notified a three-member pre-selection committee for the selection of chief information commissioner (CIC) and the state information commissioner (SIC) under Right To Information (RTI) Act. The pre-selection committee would be headed by chief secretary and comprise principal secretary (PWD) and secretary (Information & Publicity) as members. The task of the committee is to shortlist the names, which would be forwarded to the committee headed by chief minister for selection of CIC and SIC under RTI Act. "The pre-selection committee will go through the applications received for both the posts and provides its finding or report to the government within the period of two weeks from the inception of the committee," director of information and publicity, Swapnil Naik said. It may be recalled that the RTI activists and concerned citizens under the banner of Goa Right To Information (RTI) Forum held a dharna in Panaji highlighting the non-appointment of the SIC and the CIC in the state.
  6. Reported by Bindiya Chari in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com on May 5, 2013 Communidades evade RTI Act - The Times of India PANAJI: The communidades in the state are not willing to accept that they come under the purview of the Act even as the state government has clarified that they are covered under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005. The deputy chief minister and revenue minister Francis D'Souza in reply to a question tabled in the just-concluded Goa Legislative assembly, categorically stated that communidades fall under RTI Act but they are yet to start publishing their information as required under section 4 (1) of the RTI Act. On the other hand Savio de Souza, a communidade activist claimed that since communidades are not government entities they does not fall under the scope of the RTI Act. While communidades are in denial government has been claiming that it is trying to convince them to fall in line. Communidades have not budged is demonstrated by the fact that applications received by them seeking information, are returned to the offices of respective administrators. Administrator of communidades, North Goa received 30 applications, Central zone administrator six and 14 applications came to the office administrator of communidade in South Goa. There are three zones and 223 communidades in the State. Communidades are village welfare bodies set up by the joint owners of the village, called Gaunkars.
  7. Goa RTI Forum had invited Maj. Gen. Sudhir Chintamani Nilkanth Jatar to give key note speech at their RTI Convention on April 21, 2013 at Madkai Goa. He is interview by Prakash Kamat Senior Journalist working for 'The Hindu' in Goa. Maj. Gen. Sudhir Chintamani Nilkanth Jatar, (age 81)BE (Civil), FIE, MICA served as Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Oil India Ltd and ONGC Videsh Ltd.. He is very active in social work and is the President of Nagrik Chetna Manch (NCM), which strives to bring in transparency in governance by using the Right to Information Act. Under his guidance, NCM has unearthed a number of cases involving fraud in handling public funds, allotting transfer of development rights and illegal conversion of reserved forest into residential land. He is Managing Trustee of Vimalabai Jatar Trust and is a Trustee of Queda Educational Foundation registered in the UK. He is Maharashtra representative of North South Foundation based in USA. These three charities are in the field of education and award scholarships to deserving students for education in India and higher education abroad. Prudent Media Gazali with Maj. Gen .Sudhir C. N. Jatar 23 April 13 Part 2 Prudent Media Gazali with Maj. Gen .Sudhir C. N. Jatar 23 April 13 Part 1
  8. shri8131

    victims contribution fund

    One of the convicts who has served life sentence has approched me. He says that 20% of their daily earning are deducted for 'Victims contribution fund' but in reality this fund is not passed on to victim. This is regarding GOA. What should I ask and to whom. Which act should I refer? Shrikant
  9. Gram Panchayats should have their own websites. Our lovely Goa is know as tourist destination. Foreign as well as Indian enjoys Goa’s hospitality. Many of them go through interior in villages. But interior villages have made no efforts to give information to tourist. Most of the tourist specifically those who come from big cities are interested in knowing about village life style, nature, village history etc. If a villager itself inform about their village, How it can be done? Village Panchayat can take initiative. All information about their village is made available on a kiosk, just like ATM of a Bank. Information of historic importance places, people, and different resource person from village should be made available on a press of a button. Village panchayat should be like a Information Centre. Tourist visiting village will drop in the village, spend some time on kiosk. If they found contact number and photo of a person from village who can be a guide to them, tourist may call him, know more about village. Few youths may engage themselves as guide. Every village panchayat should have its own website. This website should have information about each and everything about village. Information of recourse persons in different field like sports, music, education etc. will be useful for organizers to organize any event in short time. People from different parts of Goa will know about these resource person and invite them to present their skills. We know about assembly proceedings through news paper reporting however villagers hardly know about what happened in village council meeting or in Gram Sabha. If day to day activities are uploded on village website it will be much help of every villager to know first hand about village council meetings, Gramsabha meetings. How can Village Panchayat have its own website? Goa RTI forum is organizing a workshop at Radhabai Manerikar Hall, Valpoi, Sattari on Sunday Oct.7 2012 at 10am to 1pm. For maor information you may contact Adv. Shivaji Desai 9421155681. This workshop is open to all. Shrikant Barve Secretary Goa RTI Forum.
  10. GCA claims RTI act not applicable for them AS reported in Digital Goa, Panaji, August 23 2010 Governing body of the Cricket activities in the Goa and one of the financial sound sports bodies in the state the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has claimed that it does not come under the purview of the Right to Information Act. Adv. Aires Rodrigues had sought information from the Goa Cricket Association including details of fees paid to Mr. Subodh Kantak who has been the legal counsel for the Goa Cricket Association. Declining to furnish the information sought by Rodrigues under the RTI, the Goa Cricket Association Secretary Mr. Prasad Phaterpekar has stated that the Goa Cricket Association has not received any financial assistance from the Goa Government or Sports Authority of Goa. The Goa Cricket Association Secretary has further stated that the Goa Cricket Association is not registered with the Sports Authority of Goa and that RTI Act is not applicable to the Goa Cricket Association. Not satisfied with the Goa Cricket Association‘s explanation, Adv. Rodrigues sought information from the Sports Authority of Goa and the Directorate of Sports on the financial aid and other government assistance given to Goa Cricket Association. The Directorate of Sports has informed Adv. Rodrigues that the department has leased land admeasuring 1, 30,328 sq mts at Tivim to the Goa Cricket Association for construction of International Cricket association. The land has been leased to the Goa Cricket Association for a period of 99 years for a nominal rent of Rs 50,000/- per annum. The Sports Authority of Goa has informed Adv. Rodrigues that Rs 50 lakhs by way of financial assistance was given to the Goa Cricket association in the year 2000. Rodrigues has also been informed that the amount was however refunded back by the Goa Cricket Association in 2003 but that the Goa Cricket Association has till date not refunded back the interest due of Rs 10, 330, 42/- despite being sent constant reminders. Rodrigues has stated that he would challenge before the appropriate authority the order of the Goa Cricket Association refusing to furnish him information under the RTI Act. Source : DigitalGoa.com - Goa, Goa Breaking News, Goa Holidays, Goa Centric Portal, Goa Yellow Pages, Explore Goa, Goa News Headlines, Goa News, Goa Current Affairs, Goa Events
  11. shri8131

    Help PIO's to form PIO's forum

    Adv. Satish Sonak, prominant RTI activist form Goa said that We should help PIO's to form PIOs forum which can take up issues like victimisation of PIOs, overburdening of PIOs, and other issues affecting their functioning and morale. The Right to Information (RTI) was a fight for good governance and as such citizens and public information officers (PIOs) have to combine and fight it instead of confronting each other, said advocate Satish Sonak, social activist and convenor of India Against Corruption, Goa, here on Sunday. Mr. Sonak was addressing a workshop on “RTI and good governance” organised by the Goa RTI Forum jointly with International Centre Goa where PIOs present tried to put up their grievances while activists predominantly felt that many of the PIOs were responsible, wittingly or unwittingly, to block the information flow. Earlier, Shrikant Barve, RTI activist, made a presentation on “RTI and good governance” wherein he asserted that due importance be given to PIOs in government official hierarchy, an awareness drive by government for PIOs, APIOs, and highlighted the failure of several government departments to update Citizens Charters. He expressed the need for training of PIOs for better and effective dissemination of information and training and awareness programmes for citizens on RTI. Programme Manager of International Centre Goa Arjun Halarnkar in his welcome remarks offered ICG's support for regular monthly workshops and meetings of RTI. Mr. Sonak urged the PIOs not to take RTI as a mere duty but understand that they were instrumental in empowering citizens. He said the PIOs should realise that RTI was a blessing for good bureaucrats and government servants as that ensures that there was less stress on them to be part of corruption because of political or bureaucratic pressure from above. Mr. Sonak mooted the idea of Information Lok Adalats to expedite RTI applications in various departments and also suggested “amicus curiae”, kind of mechanism in various government departments and Information Commissions, to help speedy disposal of cases of RTI. He suggested a PIOs forum which can take up issues like victimisation of PIOs, overburdening of PIOs, and other issues affecting their functioning and morale. Source: The Hindu : NATIONAL / KARNATAKA :
  12. in a recent judgement of Goa State Information Commission dated 17/4/2012,for Appeal No.203/SIC/2011,the Goa State Information Commission had to "tell" the "Goa Board Of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education",Porvorim, that the Supreme Courts Decisions are applicable to The State of Goa,as Goa got independence from Portuguese rule on 19th December 1961,roughly 50 years back. The Board was firm on its stand that they don't allow students to get photocopies of their answersheets,even though the Goa Board of Secondary & Higher secondary Education, is the only exception in INDIA which, before any one allowing the disclosure of answesheets had provision in their board rules to provide photocopies.goa.answersheets.pdf
  13. Could anyone help me with some decisions and judgements to the effect that Governors and Raj Bhavans come within the ambit of RTI. Many thanks, Aires Rodrigues Goa XXXXXXXXXXXX - Deleted mobile number - posting against forum rules
  14. karira

    SEZ mess: How it all started

    As reported by Preetu Nair in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 12 June 2008: SEZ mess: How it all started-Goa-Cities-The Times of India SEZ mess: How it all started PANAJI: The Special Economic Zone Act was enacted by the Centre in June 2005, but the Goa government was exploring possibilities right from December 2004. The first time that the government considered SEZs was on December 29, 2004, when under the chairmanship of then chief minister Manohar Parrikar a decision was taken at a Goa Industrial Development Corparation (GIDC) meeting to earmark land for a food park, a biotech park and an SEZ. At a subsequent meeting on April 15, 2005 chaired by industries secretary Jayashree Raghuraman (Goa was then under Central rule), it was decided to "explore the possibility of setting up food park and SEZ at Keri and bio-tech park at Verna". It was two months later—June 23—that the Centre enacted the SEZ Act 2005 and another 12 months—June 5, 2006—before the Goa government came up with an SEZ policy. In the meantime, in March and April 2006 GIDC had already accepted applications from companies for SEZs. Information available with TOI reveals that allegations of procedural impropriety and blatant irregularities against the SEZs could well be true. These facts and many more irregularities have come to light following documents made available by the government under the Right To Information Act. The documents reveal that land was allotted to the companies even before the Goa SEZ policy was formulated. Of the three notified SEZs, two—K Raheja Corp Private Limited and Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd—had the blessings of then chief minister Pratapsingh Rane and industries minister Luizinho Faleiro. "The said proposal has been forwarded to us by the industries minister with the approval of the chief minister with the direction to consider their proposal," said the agenda note for GIDC's March 28, 2006 board meeting regarding Meditab's proposal. Similarly, the agenda note for the April 19,2006 GIDC board meeting said, "The chief minister as well as the industries minister are in support of the above allotments (land for Raheja and others)." The third SEZ, Peninsula Research & Development Centre, was "under formation" when GIDC reviewed their application and decided to allot land on March 28, 2006. Interestingly, in the April of that year, before the Goa SEZ policy came into existence, GIDC had already accepted applications from the three SEZs. The irregularities continue. Two of the applications, those of Raheja and Peninsula, don't have the company seal, nor an inward stamp of GIDC and just one eye witness, instead of two. This raises doubt over the date the applications were received by GIDC and whether the GIDC issued the mandatory seven day notice to call a board meeting The industries and labour department regulations clearly state that ‘the secretary shall give seven clear days notice of the ensuing meeting to each member of the corporation'. Though GIDC in its agenda note for a meeting on February 7, 2006 proposed to revise the premium rate of plots in the industrial estates, it went easy on the three SEZs. This despite the fact that GIDC had decided that all new applications for plots and transfer of plots will be based on revised rates. While the price of plots for the industrial units at Verna phase I, II and III was hiked to Rs 750, the SEZs in phase IV were charged only Rs 600. Further, while the rate of land at Sancoale industrial estate was hiked from Rs 125 to Rs 400, Peninsula was charged just Rs 250, as the ‘area proposed for allotment is sloppy and without proper access'. Meditab got their land at the cheapest possible price of just Rs 80 per sq m. The documents also reveal that GIDC relaxed the land rates, reduced the 2% annual lease rent that it had unanimously decided to charge in industrial estates effective from April 1, 2006, to 0.5% for the three SEZs. The lease signed is for 30 years, with a provision to extend it to 95 years. Further, though in the agreement with the three SEZs transfer of land was prohibited without GIDC consent, minutes of the GIDC meeting of April 19, 2006, reveal that the GIDC will not charge transfer fees, sub-lease or assignment charges from them. This would allow the SEZ developers to sub-lease or transfer the land to anyone at a price, without in turn paying the GIDC.
  15. As reported at oheraldo.in on May 8, 2011 PANJIM, MAY 7: The home minister’s shock, surprise and confusion when Team Herald confronted him with a straight query whether the Special Investigation Team was constituted to probe the Cipriano Fernandes custodial death case was not surprising. Herald first reported it in its February 26 Weekend edition (Home Minister played SIT card to delay action against Panjim cops,) and then again in its March 20 edition (When the lies come Home). On February 3, the home minister announced in the assembly a SIT headed by a senior officer Om Prakash Kurtarkar would investigate the actions of police officials charged with murdering Cipriano Fernandes in police custody. The next day, he prevented his own Home Department from recommending to the director general of police to take action against the accused police officers of the Panjim police station and wrote on the internal note, where this recommendation was made (again published by this newspaper earlier) “I have announced in the legislative assembly that SIT headed by Om Prakash Kurtarkar will be constituted and action against officials will be taken after submission of the SIT report.” As Heralds investigations have revealed there is no record of the Police Establishment Board transferring the case to the SIT. When the government decides to constitute a Special Investigating Team, the ideal process is that the Police Establishment Board headed by the DGP and consisting of the IG, the DIG, the senior superintendent of police and SP headquarters has to formally appoint an officer to head it. This is ratified by the Home Department and then sent to the Law Department. A formal notification is then issued. Importantly, the terms of reference and the time frame for the inquiry are clearly defined in the notification. In a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by social activist Jowett D ‘Souza, SP Headquarters V U Borkar said that no information of the Police Establishment Board meeting to transfer the case to SIT w as available. The only record of who will investigate the charges of murder, among others, of police officers of the Panjim police station, is this letter by DIG RS Yadav dated 9/02/2011. The letter states “The investigation of this case will be conducted by Braz Menezes PI under the direct supervision of Mohan Naik, SP of CB CID and overall supervision of O P Kurtarkar Supt of Police (coastal security)” Kurtarkar, the man who Ravi Naik said in the assembly was going to head the SIT investigations on the case, has admitted to Herald that he is there in his capacity as SP Coastal Security. The case is on paper with PI Vasco Braz Menezes who was deputed to the Crime Branch but is back in his old post of PI Vasco without relinquishing his position as head of investigations of the Cipriano case. In the backdrop of all these developments, the supposed lack of knowledge about the formation of a team whose report will decide the government’s action against the killer cops appears to be a cover up to protect the Panjim policemen.
  16. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on May 8, 2011 PANAJI: The Goa state information commission (GSIC) has slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 on the deputy collector and sub-divisional officer, Margao, in his capacity as public information officer (PIO), for delaying to furnish information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The order relates to an RTI application by Raghunath N Kauthankar of Aquem Alto, Margao, dated February 9, 2010 and furnished seven months later on October 5, 2010. Goa state chief information commissioner Motilal S Keny observed, "Delay is inexcusable under the RTI Act and public authorities must introspect that non-furnishing of information lands a citizen before the first appellate authority and this commission, resulting in unnecessary harassment of a common man, which is socially abhorring and legally impermissible." He further observed that due to non-furnishing of information "sometimes injury to society is more grievous. Therefore, some sort of penalty helps in curing this social grief". The Rs 5,000 will be recovered from the deputy collector`s salary in two installments for the months of July and August by the director of accounts, the GSIC chief ruled, adding that the amount should be paid in the government treasury. The GSIC noted that the deputy collector attributed the delay to the pressure of work and also various assignments given to him. "No doubt the opponent was busy, but at the same time one must not forget that the information sought was not voluminous. Order of the first appellate authority was in fact a reminder to the opponent to furnish the information. However, the same was not furnished," Keny noted. The deputy collector had defended himself stating, among other things, that at the time the application was received his staff was busy with the zilla parishad (ZP) elections, followed by the first phase of census operations and then the by-poll to the ZP elections in May 2010.
  17. Rodrigues complains against AG before Bar Council of Mah as reported in NewKerala.Com (UNI), June 6 Panaji, Jun 6 : Social activist Advocate Aires Rodrigues has filed a complaint before the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa against Goa's controversial Advocate General Mr Subodh Kantak for his alleged professional misconduct. Mr Rodrigues had drawn the attention of the Bar Council to a note moved by the AG on July 15, 2005, seeking to terminate the services of Special Public Prosecutors Mr A P Cardozo and Mr V P Thali, who were handling the prosecution of criminal cases against former Ministers Mr Dayannad Narvekar, Mr Mauvin Godinho and Mr Somnath Zuwarkar. Prior to becoming Advocate General, Mr Kantak was defending these former Ministers in various corruption-related cases. The complaint stated that since Mr Kantak had appeared for Mr Narvekar, Mr Godinho and Mr Zuwarkar before becoming Advocate General, he could not have moved such a note to benefit his former minister clients. The government records obtained by Mr Rodrigues under the Right to Information Act had revealed that Mr Kantak as Advocate General had made recommendations for change of special public prosecutors in criminal cases in which he had appeared earlier for the accused former ministers. When this action of the government in changing the special Public Prosecutors was challenged in the High Court, the AG, after his initial appearance for the state, subsequently did not appear but continued to manipulate, monitor and co-ordinate every move in the petition before the High Court by even assisting in the drafting of affidavits, the complaint said. The AG had also, by a note dated 06/07/2006, proposed that the State of Goa engage the services of Senior Counsel from Mumbai Mr Aspi Chinoy with fees of Rs 1,35,000 per appearance along with Advocate Nitin Sardesai and Mr Mahesh Sonak with fees of Rs 5,000 per appearance to defend his former minister clients in the High Court, the complaint said. The notings of the files obtained from the Law department under the Right to Information Act, which allegedly reveals that Mr Kantak as Advocate General had acted in rank violation of professional ethics, had also been sent to the Bar Council. Stating that Mr Kantak's acts amounted to a conflict of interest, Mr Rodrigues has in his complaint stated that the AG had misused his position as to oblige his political masters Mr Narvekar, Mr Zuwarkar and Mr Godinho, whom he was earlier representing. Demanding the Bar Council's action against the AG, he had in his complaint stated that the actions of Mr Kantak amounted to ''gross interference in the process of administration of justice and that he had degraded the high constitutional post of Advocate General.'' --UNI Rodrigues complains against AG before Bar Council of Mah .:. newkerala.com Online News - 122442
  18. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Sep 23, 2010 PANAJI: The Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) has ordered that Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) XVII inspection report pertaining to the Goa Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd (GUCBL) be traced. The order was passed following an application filed by one Rui Ferreira against the office of the registrar of co-operative societies for not furnishing the copy of the report. In its order, GSIC's chief information commissioner M S Keny observed thus: "In the instant case, it is strange as well as surprising that that XVI inspection report is available and XVII inspection report is missing. Even otherwise if such a contention is accepted that document is untraceable, then it would be rather impossible to implement the RTI Act." The commission noted that as on March 29, 2010, the report was available but after June 14, the same was not traceable. Earlier on June 14 the commission had directed the public information officer (PIO) of the registrar of co-operative societies to furnish both the reports within 15 days to the applicant, who is a shareholder of the bank. Subsequently, on July 9, the applicant received a letter from the PIO asking him to collect the copy of the XVI inspection report. However, RBI's XVII report was not given to the applicant. Hence, the applicant again approached the commission and sought penal action. After hearing the parties, the commission also directed that responsibility for the missing/misplaced documents be fixed and to initiate action against the 'delinquent officials', in case the report is not found. The commission has also issued a notice to the PIO as to why penal action should not be taken against him for causing the delay in furnishing the information. Read more: GSIC orders tracing of RBI report on Goa urban coop bank - The Times of India GSIC orders tracing of RBI report on Goa urban coop bank - The Times of India
  19. As reported in deccanchronicle.com on 16 November 2010: State ordered to give list of babus' assets | Deccan Chronicle | 2010-11-16 State ordered to give list of babus' assets Hyderabad, Nov. 15: In a landmark decision the AP Information Commission on Monday brushed aside the state government’s objections and asked it to furnish details of immovable properties held by All-India Service officials in the state to a city-based RTI activist. The commission, headed by the Chief Information Commissioner, Mr Jannath Hussain, was delivering an order on an appeal filed by the RTI activist, Mr O.M. Debara. The commission, for the first time, met twice before deciding on the application. The order means that Mr Debara will get, for a fee, a copy of the list of assets that is filed annually by All-India Service officers. “I compliment the AP Information Commission for their wise judgement,” said Mr Debara. “I have been fighting to eliminate corruption from society and wanted to expose misdeeds by officials.” There are generally no restrictions on legal use of this information. The order of the Information Commission is considered final, though appeals can be filed with the AP High Court and, later, the Supreme Court. The government had contended that providing the information does not serve public purpose and requires third party approval. But the commission considered a number of similar cases, including a judgement of the Karnataka High Court and rulings of the Central Information Commission. The commission opined that with a view to maintaining the transparency not only in the administration but also in public life, there is nothing wrong if the details of assets/properties are furnished to the petitioner. “When such details are provided as a mandatory rule to Income-Tax authorities and to the heads of departments by the same officials, the contention of the government in rejecting the plea for sharing similar information is not acceptable,” the commission noted. Mr Debara, a retired engineer and secretary for the Forum for Better Hyderabad, an NGO, had sought the information under the RTI on September 29, 2008, from the principal information officer of the general administration department.
  20. Atul Patankar

    Only verbal request for toilet block

    As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Oct 20, 2010 PANAJI: The conversion of a garage attached to a PWD bungalow, presently occupied by High Court registrar I K Jain, into a toilet block, was carried out by the PWD on a "verbal request" of the registrar. It had no permission/NOC from the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP). This has come to light in information provided under RTI by the PWD to social activist Aires Rodrigues. Executive engineer Satish Tirodker has stated that PWD is not aware why permission/NOC from the CCP was not sought for the construction of the toilet block. No permission/NOC of CCP was sought for any construction work at the bungalow from January to March this year, Tirodker said. However, it is on record that there was a written request from the high court to set up a fibreglass police guard cabin at the bungalow. This cost the PWD ` 1,05,400. PWD has also stated that the complete cost of repairs/construction work, etc carried out from January to date at the bungalow amounts to ` 3,12,820. This includes construction of toilet/changing room and other miscellaneous works. CCP commissioner Elvis Gomes on October 15 issued a show-cause notice to PWD as the construction of the toilet block was in violation of Section 269 of the CCP Act. It has given PWD seven days to show cause as to why an order should not be passed ordering the block's removal.
  21. Like GCA, GFA had claimed RTI immunity as reported in Times of India, TNN, PANAJI: Oct 9, 2010 It seems like the Goa Football Association has followed in the footsteps of the Goa Cricket Association in claiming that it doesn't fall under the purview of Right to Information (RTI) Act. In a letter to the Sports Authority of Goa's public information officer, the GFA stated, "This is to inform you that we don't come under the RTI. We understand that the GCA has filed an appeal with the state information commission and we are awaiting the order before we take any step in this direction". The letter was sent on September 22. Reacting to this, the SAG had replied that the GFA is "adequately covered within the purview of clause 2 (h) of the RTI Act 2005, to consider it as a public authority". The GFA refused to furnish information when social activist Aires Rodrigues sought data under the RTI from the association. In a similar fashion, the GCA had also refused to furnish information claiming that it did not come under the purview of the Act. But the Goa state chief information commissioner on Thursday ruled that the GCA does come under the ambit of the RTI and has asked it to furnish information sought by Rodrigues within 30 days. Source : Like GCA, GFA had claimed RTI immunity - The Times of India *Plz see a related article GCA claims RTI act not applicable for them
  22. As reported at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Sep 29, 2010 PANAJI: The Pilerne Citizens Forum (PCF) has alleged that the Bardez mamlatdar's office has been issuing ration cards without verifying the documentary evidence provided and not as per guidelines. Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Tuesday, PCF president Prakash Bandodkar and co-ordinator Paul Fernandes said two Right to Information (RTI) applications to the mamlatdar on the number of ration cards issued in Pilerne village have revealed two different answers. While the first RTI application received a reply that 1,217 ration cards were issued, the second RTI application was told 988 ration cards were issued in the village. The PCF further stated that it had procured the ration card application form of one Nitin Mistry who has shown plot No. 19, Pilerne industrial estate, as his residence. Similarly, the ration card application form of one Jabar Singh Rajpurohit and his family, states that he resides at house No. 105, Moica vaddo, Pilerne, and is the head of the family. "However, we have shown that as per the electoral rolls, the resident of House No. 105 is one Vassudev Naroji," PCF members told reporters. Further, if one sees the copy of the ration card application form, it shows two house numbers — house No. 105 and house No. 20. "The fact is that the two houses are lawfully possessed and owned by their respective owners Vassudev Naoroji and one Assuciana Victoria," Bandodkar said. The PCF said that the respective house owners brought the matter to the notice of the Mapusa and Porvorim police through separate complaints. The complainants also told the police that they never permitted Jabar Singh to use their residential house numbers and that he did the same to play a fraud on the government by misrepresenting their addresses, PCF members told the press. But no action has been taken although complaints have also been lodged with the office of the north Goa collector, inspector general of police (IGP) and the vigilance department, PCF members alleged . "It is shocking to see how ration cards are being issued in Goa in this fashion," PCF co-ordinator Paul Fernandes said. Meanwhile, the PCF pointed out that the civil supplies department has issued a circular that it would commence a door-to-door scanning exercise to delete bogus ration cards. The PCF said it would not tolerate a farcical exercise and would seek legal recourse if proper guidelines are not followed by the state administration while issuing ration cards.
  23. No funds for city projects, ' 6L paid to consultants as reported in TNN, Sep 27, 2010 PANAJI: With only a year left, before Panaji's opportunity to avail funds from the Centre through the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) concludes, it has now been revealed that the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has spent almost ' 67 lakh on project consultants, and not been able to garner a single rupee for the capital city's development. The expenditure on appointing consultants for JNNURM projects was highlighted by opposition corporator Surendra Furtado, who sought the details by availing the Right to Information Act, 2005. According to the CCP's reply to the RTI queries, it has spent a total of ' 67,08,260 for the preparation of six Detailed Project Reports (DPRs). Bangalore-based Groupe SCE India Pvt Ltd have been appointed as consultants for four DPRs - Basic Services to Urban Poor, Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) in consonance with the objectives of the National Urban Transport Policy and the JNNURM reform agenda, Urban Renewal including development of parks, gardens and open spaces for the city of Panaji as per guidelines and requirements of JNNURM, and Sector Heritage Conservation for the city of Panaji as per guidelines and requirements of JNNURM. The DPR for water body preservation and hill slope protection has been prepared by Water and Power Consultancy Services, while the DPR for e-governance has been prepared by Upasani, Jain and Kshirsagar and G S Mathur and Co. "The CCP has missed the bus. Over ' 400 crore worth of funds could not be obtained by it since the last four years. It is time that like-minded people with the interests of the city of Panaji at heart, come together and stand for elections," Furtado said. tnn No funds for city projects, ' 6L paid to consultants - The Times of India
  24. All's not well in Amona panchayat as reported in Times of India, BICHOLIM: Aug 25, 2010 The sarpanch of the Amona village panchayat, Narayan Naik, and his ruling group have filed a complaint with the block development officer (BDO) alleging that the minutes of gram sabha meetings have been altered. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Naik said the matter came to light when panch member Santosh Sinari sought some information under the Right to Information Act. The ruling panchas have criticized the panchayat secretary stating that it is a serious matter which needs to be probed by the directorate of panchayats. Copies of their complaint have been sent to the director of panchayats. The sarpanch said that in one case a resolution pertaining to a jetty of a mining company was incorporated later when no such resolution was passed at the meeting. Pointing out to another resolution, Naik said the name of the then sarpanch Paresh Fadte, who had proposed an increase in the librarian's salary, was erased and replaced by deputy sarpanch's name. Naik alleged that this was done deliberately to create grounds for disqualification of the deputy sarpanch, as the librarian is her daughter. All's not well in Amona panchayat - Goa - City - The Times of India
  25. As reported in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 18 August 2010: 'Poor implementation of RTI' - Goa - City - The Times of India 'Poor implementation of RTI' PANAJI: Parivartan, the Delhi-based NGO run by Magsaysay award-winning social activist Arvind Kejriwal, has blown the lid off just how receptive the Goa state information commission is to the much-vaunted Right To Information (RTI) Act. According to the NGO, the commission on an average takes three months to hear an appeal filed under provisions of the Act, and among other flaws, has also failed to penalize officers who do not provide complete and correct information on time. The NGO arrived at these conclusions after analyzing the commission's 254 cases in 2008. Reacting to the analysis, Pratap Singh Meena, secretary, Goa state information commission, said the lack of courtrooms and other infrastructural shortcomings faced by the commission could be the reason for the same. The analysis report states, "In 2008, the pendency of cases (with the commission) increased from 58 to 112. If 100 people approached the commission, pro-disclosure orders were given in 62 cases. Of these, only 20 to 30 people finally got information." The analysis further revealed that the commission ordered disclosure of information in just 58% cases, far lower than the national average of 68%. It also showed that information was denied in 34% cases. "Only 20-30% of the pro-disclosure orders of the commissioner could be finally implemented. Despite favourable and pro-disclosure orders, 80 to 90% appellants did not get information," the report reads. In sharp contrast, 90% appellants in the North Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh returned satisfied with the information given by the commission there, found the NGO. Documenting Goa's poor rate of compliance to RTI orders, the report reveals that in most cases the commission closes a case after passing orders that information be provided, without ensuring compliance. "If the order is not complied with subsequently, the appellant has to approach the commission again with a complaint," the report states. "But many appellants get tired and do not file complaints again. Even when a complaint is filed, the same comes up for hearing in its due course after a few months due to huge pendency, thus causing hardships to appellants," it observes. In the hearing, the case is again closed with directions to the officer to provide information rather than taking any penal action. The order is again mostly, not complied with, the report states. Parivarthan has suggested to the Goa state information commission that it hold hearings to ensure compliance. "Such a practice ensures transparency, success and is followed dutifully by Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka," it states. The RTI mandates imposition of a penalty on officers who do not provide complete and correct information, within the prescribed time, unless there is reasonable cause. In Goa, where pro-disclosure orders were passed in 96 cases, a large number of officers who did not provide information on time were not even questioned about the reasons for delay, found the NGO. While notices were issued in 27 cases asking for reasons for the delay, this was not done in the rest of the cases, the report states.
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