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Saturday, January 6, 2007

Don’t grease their palms — use RTI

HT, Aasheesh Sharma New Delhi, June 28, 2006: When A sewer line in Hauz Khas got choked, resident Madhuri Bhaskar complained to the Delhi Jal Board — but to little avail. After waiting for a month, she finally filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to know the status of her complaint. In two days, the sewer problem vanished.
The RTI Act can work wonders when there is a delay in getting work done — be it the issue of pass port, driving licence or a telephone connection, or getting a faulty water meter changed. Bribery can be confined to the dustbin in the corridors of power and dingy offices.
Starting July 1, a nation wide campaign against bribery — “Drive Against Bribery with Right to Information” — is being launched by the Hindustan Times along with other media houses and NGOs.
People will be asked not to pay bribes. Instead, help centres will be opened in 42 cities across the country where volunteers will help people file RTI applications.
In Delhi, the help centres will be open at the Nehru Yuva Kendra and the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
If you have filed documents and completed formalities and are still facing problems in getting a passport, voter ID card, licences and certificates, or in rectifying errors in electricity and telephone bills, or in filing an FIR, you can visit these centres, draft the RTI application and deposit the fee.
A helpline (09250492504) will also be open to answer basic queries.
The Delhi government, meanwhile, has directed all ministries and departments to make arrangements to deal with the large number of applications that are expected to be filed during the campaign.
HT will bring you news you can use at various stages of the campaign.

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