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Maharashtra: To reduce RTI applications, info panel lists subjects for system improvement

These are a list of subjects given to the chief secretary on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ demand for reducing number of RTI applications.

 Information regarding sanctioned building plans, building permission, land records, status of complains at police station, power connections, health schemes and details of educational institutions could soon available without filing RTI.

These are a list of subjects given to the chief secretary on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ demand for reducing number of RTI applications. During the launch of RTI online last year, Fadnavis had sought details of subjects on which citizens have to make applications over and again so that improvement can be brought in the system or such information can be kept aside separately so that citizens do not resort to the RTI.

A letter written by state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad to chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya on Thursday states that information that should largely suo motu declared by the public authorities is not present in public domain and hence RTI applications are filed.

Departments that see most applications are urban development, revenue, home department, public works department and water supply, education, agriculture, co-operation, power, health and village development.

Among the information that can be provided through systemic change are sanctioned building plan, land records, ration, 7/12 records, most of which are not available either they are kept somewhere else or cannot be found according to the letter.

From action taken on complaints registered with police and BMC, status of inquiry and papers related to the case. In education, affiliation of colleges and teachers, power connection at home and farms, information on complaints of power theft facilities and schemes in health are also included.

Taxes or charges decided in the village development, work orders, technical and departmental go ahead, money spent in by PWD and agriculture department. “If it is implemented, it will be great. Even issues pertaining to RTS will be reduced. The feeling is that state does not want to be transparent. For example: despite giving solutions to BMC nothing is put online. State needs to be more serious about their intent else it considered as corruption,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, member of BMC’s technical advisory community.

He added: “In Andhra Pradesh many certificates issued by state like land and birth are available at cybercafes and people do not have to go to government. In Karnataka, transparency has reached the district level. There is no reason why it should not be the case here.”

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