Friday, February 12, 2010

BBMP does flip-flop on building plan sanction

BBMP does flip-flop on building plan sanction

Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Bangalore has brought out three cases where an applicant effectively made use of provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act for public good.

One of the coalition partners – S. Ananda from Anti Corruption Forum (ACF), had sought information from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) regarding the sanction plan of Big Bazaar in Kathriguppe in February 2007. Initially, the Palike responded that a sanction plan was not accorded for the said building. Upon Mr. Anand’s application to take action against officials of the Town Planning Department in October 2007, the palike reverted saying its original reply was not correct. It said that the sanction plan was given in October 2001, commencement certificate was given in February 2003 and occupation certificate was issued in February 2005.

In another application, Mr. Ananda had sought details from the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation regarding implementation of the Contract Labour Act during the construction of its travel and transit management centre at Shanthinagar in June 2009. When it was found that the contractor did not maintain proper registers, a complaint was filed with the Labour Department. The Labour Department, in turn, inspected the premises, found the allegations true and registered cases against BMTC and the contractor.

Through BBMP website, Mr. Ananda found that there were seven joint/deputy commissioners in excess of the sanctioned strength of the Palike. When he sought to know who were the seven excess officials, the Palike furnished the names of only three officers, leaving the applicant wondering where were the remaining four officials.

Presenting the cases before the media here, R. Manohar, Head, Programmes, South India Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring (SICHREM), said the public should make use of the provisions of the RTI Act to bring out the truth.

The Coalition conducts RTI Clinic on the last Saturday of every month and this time, the clinic would be conducted in Cubbon Park, in front of Bangalore Press Club Gate between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., he said.

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