Tejesh Tripathy 

Bongaigaon:  Residents in Bongaigaon district have to struggle to get needed information from some government offices under the Right to Information, RTI Act, 2005, an aggrieved applicant alleged.

An applicant, who is a resident of Goraimari in the district, had filed an application at the Deputy Commissioner’s office on June 28 last year under the RTI Act seeking a detailed list of flood-affected beneficiaries, of the district, who had received the Relief Grant during the years 2015 to 2020.

In its response to the total five Revenue Circles of the district only three Circles— Bongaigaon, Dangtol and Boitamari– had informed that no such grant had been given to any beneficiaries under them.

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Of the remaining two Revenue Circles, Srijangram circle had furnished the said list without mentioning the amount of the Grant Relief and Manikpur Circle had refused to give the list citing that the beneficiaries of the circle (the third party) had objected to sharing their details to a civilian.

At last Bongaigaon District Development Commissioner (DDC) Bhaskar Das had called the applicant in his office for a hearing on September 29 after the latter had filed the first appeal in this connection on August 31.

Accordingly, the applicant reached the office on that day, but the DDC had cancelled the hearing for his official engagement.

When the applicant had attended the second hearing on October 26 the DDC had allegedly misbehaved him and instructed the officials of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to issue a letter mentioning that the information sought by the applicant had been furnished already by the circle offices.

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In between on December 10 the DDC had called the applicant again at his office to hear the matter and subsequently issued an order asking the ADC and CEO of DDMA, Bongaigaon to collect the information from the concerned circle officers and provide the applicant within 15 days.

But the applicant has not received the information yet and he has decided to file a reminder soon to the DDC.

Another RTI activist of the district has also alleged that most of the government officials departments are reluctant to furnish the information to the applicant intentionally to cover up the anomalies and corruption of their departments.

He urged the authorities to take action against such officials.

He also raised questions before the district administration for the indifferent attitude of its officials towards RTI queries.

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