Thursday, October 15, 2009

RTI,KYA? WE’LL CHOP YOUR LEGS

RTI,KYA? WE’LL CHOP YOUR LEGS
ATUL CHATURVEDI


Curious to know what kind of buildings were coming up near his house, this well-intentioned citizen turned to the RTI Act to obtain details from BBMP, which approves building plans in the city. Forget the proverbial bureaucratic delay — he has been waiting for over three months for a reply — to his dismay, he has even received threats to his life from unknown persons. On Tuesday, some goons threatened to chop off his hands and legs if he continued with his quest.
A resident of Vijayanagar, 47-year-old V Sudhiendra told Bangalore Mirror, “All I did was to use the RTI to seek answers, but I have been getting threats.” He had filed an RTI application on June 25 this year seeking information on two constructions coming up near his house on 18th Cross, 21st Main, off Vijayanagar. The information he sought pertained to the BBMP-approved building plans on plot numbers 1687 and 68.
His tryst with babudom started when he did not get any receipt or letter from the BBMP on the status of his application. Though the RTI Act states that the information sought should be furnished within 30 days of an application, Sudhiendra’s wait has lasted for over three months. When a month passed after his application, he thought the delay was due to the Govindarajanagar by-polls. With his wait getting longer, he decided to approach BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena, on Sept 2. Meena reportedly assured him that the matter would be looked into.
“I don’t know the persons who are constructing the houses.”
“There was a small hut on each plot; both have now been demolished and construction work is on since May. Both the owners have violated the construction norms of BBMP by not leaving any setback. They have even illegally chopped two big trees. Hence, I decided to file an RTI application,” Sudhiendra said.
On Sunday, Sudhiendra was shocked to find some persons, purportedly the owners of the under-construction buildings, coming up to him menacingly in his house. They charged him with poking his nose in their affairs and warned him of dire consequences. “They even threatened to silence me with the help of rowdies,” he said.
The threats did not stop with that. On Tuesday and Wednesday, some bikeborne rowdies threatened him and left. “I stay with my 79-year-old mother and cannot take this harassment,” he said. Sudhiendra suspects that some BBMP officials have colluded with the miscreants to silence him. “How else did these rowdy elements get to know that I had filed an RTI application?” he remarked.
To this paper’s queries, BBMP additional commissioner (South) K R Ramakrishna said, “The person concerned has not met me with his grievance; moreover, I was busy with the Govindarajanagar by-polls. Maybe, he addressed his queries to the wrong public information officer. I will look into the matter.”
In the meantime, while babudom ‘looks into the matter’, a well-meaning citizen continues to live in fear of chopper-wielding goons.

1 Comments:

At Friday, October 16, 2009 at 10:27:00 AM GMT+5:30, Blogger Pradip said...

File FIR immediately without delay.

 

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