Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, January 21
As there are no boards carrying the names of public information officers (PIOs) and assistant public information at the MC headquarters (Zone A), visitors face inconvenience in filing applications under the Right to Information Act. According to sources, an RTI information board was earlier displayed at the entrance to the MC headquarters office, but it is ‘missing’ now.
The MC has not even updated RTI information about PIOs and first appellate authority on its official website for the past one year. According to the website on Tuesday (January 21, 2020), the first appellate authority is Anita Darshi (Zonal Commissioner) and Public Information Officer Headquarters is Rajiv Saggar (Superintendent). However, Anita Darshi was transferred a year ago while Superintendent Rajiv Saggar had been transferred twice from Ludhiana in the past one year.
A few other officials, who have retired or have been transferred, are still shown as public information officers of different MC branches. Superintending Engineer Dharm Singh, who has retired from service, is still shown as PIO of a cell under the B&R branch. Retired officer Surinder Kumar is still shown as PIO of the horticulture wing. ATP Surinder Singh Bindra, who has been transferred, is shown as PIO of the building and drawing Branch.
The RTI activists claimed that the MC was allegedly violating the Right to Information Act 2005 by not displaying the board with names of the public information officers concerned. The names of PIOs concerned for Ludhiana Smart City Limited or Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited have also not been displayed at the headquarters.
The RTI room, where applications are received, is located on the top floor of the multi-storey MC building.
An RTI activist, Rohit Sabharwal, said as per the RTI Act 2005, the civic body was supposed to display the names of public information officers for various branches of the MC. “There is no display of names of authorities designated under the Right to Information Act 2005. The MC must ensure that the names, designation and telephone numbers of the PIOs are displayed prominently.”
A resident, Keemti Rawal, said: “Not only the MC headquarters, information about public information officers has also not been displayed at the other offices. The authorities concerned should pay attention and display boards with proper information at the entrance to all offices. The MC should also display the boards to inform people that how an RTI application can be filed.”
Written to authorities about names: PIO
At present, the MC Public Information Officer (Headquarters) is Superintendent Rohit Sahota. When contacted, Sahota said: “The list of PIOs at the MC was not updated earlier. We have written to the higher authorities about the names of PIOs. Once we get approval, the names of all public information officers and assistant public information officers of various branches will be displayed in the right manner at MC offices. Moreover, it has come to my notice that the RTI information on the MC website has not been updated. It will also be updated soon.”
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