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    Published On : Wed, Mar 19th, 2014

    NMC fumbles & bungles in providing simple reply sought under RTI Act by house owner

    The Slums Department informed the house owner Suryaprakash Shantaram Chaurasia, resident of House No. 467, Sitabuldi that his house comes under slums and other category as well. Twice in slums and once in another category. The irresponsible information left Chaurasia head-scratching and fuming.

    scan0064Nagpur News: The shabby state of affairs running in various departments Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) needs no further defining but at least providing of correct information under the RTI Act could be done easily and properly. But in this aspect also, the NMC fumbled and tumbled in a shameful manner.

    In the instant case, the NMC’s Slums Department created a hell of a mess out of a simple information sought by a house owner. An appropriate reply was expected from the Department. Suryaprakash Shantaram Chaurasia, resident of House No. 467, Sitabuldi, for some specific reasons, dashed a query to NMC’s Slums Department and sought information on the status of his house. The Slums Department replied to the query of Suryaprakash Chaurasia but bungled in its action. The Slums Department replied once that Chaurasia’s house comes under slums. Not satisfied with the reply of Slums Department, Chaurasia again sought a proper information about his house. This time, the Slums Department informed Chaurasia that his house does not come under slums. Taken aback by the reply, Chaurasia again sent a letter to Slums Department seeking exact and appropriate information about his house. This time, too, the Department crossed the all limits of negligence and said the house of Chaurasia falls under slums. In simple words, the Slums Department informed Chaurasia that his house comes under slums and other category as well. Twice in slums and once in another category. The irresponsible information left Chaurasia head-scratching and fuming.

    Finally, the red-faced Chaurasia decided to slap an RTI query on the Slums Department and sought proper information with reference to the Department’s letters No. 338/Slums/13.8.2013, No.668/Slums/10.12.2013 and No. 892/Slums/9.1.2014. Chaurasia asked which letter is correct. Because two letters said his house falls under slums and another said the house comes under another category. Moreover, after Chaurasia’s RTI query, the Slums Department sent letters to Chaurasia on various dates like January 17, 2014, January 21, 2014, February 15, 2014, February 17, 2014 and February 25, 2014. But ironically, not a single letter mentioned the information sought under RTI Act.

    When the time limit of information sought got over forcing Chaurasia to go in appeal on February 25. The Slums Department called Chaurasia for a hearing. However, the Appeal Officer Neral, instead of ruling in favour of the applicant, allegedly resorted to abusing Chaurasia and directed a lower ranked employee to provide information to Chaurasia and show the door. Thereafter, the Department sent a letter to Chaurasia on 13.3.2014 (but the letter mentioned date as 25.2.2014) and assured a proper reply to his query within 7 days.

    CORPORATOR MUNNA POKULWAR MISLEADED:

    According to sources, when Suryaprakash Chaurasia apprised the Ward Corporator Munna Pokulwar about the entire episode, Pokulwar told him that he had a talk with Head of Slums Department Neral and advised Chaurasia to meet Neral and submit a memorandum to him about his demand. However, Chaurasia sensed some foul play and kept quiet. Had Chaurasia acted as per advise of Pokulwar, there was possibility that Chaurasia himself would have got trapped in his own web. Was the advise of Pokulwar a trap for Chaurasia in connivance with Neral?

    The misled and ill advised Chaurasia finally filed a complaint with NMC Commissioner demanding strict action against irresponsible officials for misguiding him and not providing proper information sought by him under RTI Act.

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