Dehradun: Government officials in Uttarakhand who so far have been happy resorting to ‘delaying tactics’ are these days pro-actively redressing the grievances of the people – courtesy Right to Information Act (RTI).

Politically aware citizens who are quite educated about the rights provided under the RTI are availing it to teach errant officials their duties.

The number of applications being filed with the state Information Commission office is a testimony to the fact.

Rs 80,000 of contractor Harish Agrawal were due with the Municipal Corporation. After he failed to get his bill cleared despite several requests, he filed an RTI application seeking explanations for the delay in payment.

The result was this: In its reply to the Information Commission, the corporation not only divulged the sought information; they also informed the Commission about the latest action taken by the corporation i.e. the bill of the aggrieved has been cleared through cheque.

A retired officer of the Ramnagar Municipality had a similar experience. The municipality had not paid the arrears of Diwn Singh Tadagi after his retirement. His repeated requests to clear the same fell on deaf ears. But the Municipality cleared the Rs 80,000 arrear of the retired Executive Officer after he filed an RTI application seeking explanations for the delay.

“There have been at least 50 cases within a year in which apart from information sought, the concerned departments also catered to their grievances. Action was taken against errant officials apart from imposing penalties. Therefore, the officials are taking the people’s grievances seriously, fearing action under RTI,” Information Commissioner Vinod Nautiyal said.

(JPN/Bureau)