CENT RAL IN FORMATI ON COMMI SSION
Complaint No.CIC/WB/C/2006/00225 dated 14.8.2006
Right to Information Act 2005 – Section 18
Appellant - Ms. Gita Dewan Verma
Respondent - Department of Urban Development, GNCTD
In a complaint o 14.8.06 Ms.Gita Dewan Verma of Vasant Kunj New Delhi has complained about “comprehensive opacity” on the implementation of the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, in Delhi. After describing the inadequacies in the information on this programme, she has concluded as follows:
“From the foregoing it is apparent that information about significant ongoing developments and decisions is missing from the public domain, mandatory s.4 provisions of the RTI Act notwithstanding. It is also apparent that the use as norm of the maximum time frames permissible for replying to applications and disposing of First Appeals is reducing resort to RTI s.6 to an academic exercise in respect of ongoing developments. The Complainant urges the Commission to view the Complaint as a case illustrating this broader issue in the specific matter the Complainant prays for directions to Delhi Govt. which has appointed itself the State Level Nodal Agency for JNNURM to make full disclosure about all JNNURM related initiates in Delhi also to rest all doubts about non conformity with constitutional provisions.”
In response to our Complaint Notice Shri S.K. Saxena, Jt. Secy. (UD) in a letter of 24.11.06 has reported as follows:
“1. The main complaint is against non-updating of information on the website of Delhi Government. The complainant wants that Minister’s assurance in various meetings should be included in the website. This request may be difficult to implement. However, the Delhi Government website is being updated regularly. The Department of UD does not have a website of its own. The same is being created and will be shortly installed.
2. As regards JNNURM scheme, it is a central scheme envisaged by Union Government for infrastructural development of urban areas in various states. The details regarding this scheme are available on the website of Ministry of UD, Government of India.
3. The main components of JNNURM are:
- Preparation of City Development Plan (CDP)
- Preparation of DPRs for infrastructural development.
- Implementation of various reforms at state level and municipal level.
None of the above has been done so far. The scheme is still at a preliminary stage. The CDP has not yet been formally discussed or approved. The selection of projects or its finalization has not been done. Reforms have not yet been finalized. The entire matter is at a preliminary stage.
As and when the CDP and schemes under JNNURM will be finalized the same will published on the website of both Delhi Government and Union Government.
The UD Department of Delhi Government has been appointed as the Nodal Agency for JNNURM. There is no legal or constitutional problem in functioning of UD Department as the Nodal Agency. The request for making DDA as State Nodal Agency cannot be entertained since DDA does not come under administrative control of State Government.”
Simultaneously, we have received an application from complainant Ms. Gita Dewan Verma of 24.11.06 on Email pleading as follows:-
“This is to propose that this Complaint also be disposed of without hearing as was done in my Complaints CIR/WB/C/2006/00078 (against MOUD) and CIC/WB/C/2006/00079 (against PMO) – both of which are mentioned in this complaint in, respectively, para 7(b) and 7(c). In any event, I wish to be excused from the hearing because I have not received any comments. If comments has been sent to the CIC, I would appreciate a copy along with the Decision.
I have also referred to two of my appeals in this complaint. Further developments in those are as under, just in case they have any bearing at all on the decision:
- In para 2, I quoted Decision dated 29.6.06 in my CIC/WB/A/2006/00182 wherein I have later submitted Application dt. 4.10.06 for directions for compliance I have nothing further to say in that appeal and it may be decided ex-parte.
- In para 7(d) I referred to my CIC/AT/A/2006/00145 whereby I was allowed the file inspection against refusal of which inter alia I had appealed, but was refused copies of certain documents on the plea that MHA was filing for review. I had submitted Application dt. 11.9.06 for simultaneous consideration and received neither copy of MHA application nor decision on mine.
I am endorsing copies of this letter to the other parties and would be grateful if you could kindly intimate them as well, as my letters may not receive immediate attention.”
The matter was scheduled for hearing on 27.11.’06 but on receiving the above request from Ms. Gita Dewan Verma and the documents cited above, we have examined the records and find that in subsequent decisions notably decisions in Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2006/00557 of 18.3.’07 and Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2006/00605 of 23.3.’07, both Ms Gita Dewan Verma vs MoUD, the Departments concerned including the Ministry of Urban Employment & Poverty Alleviation, which is responsible for the implementation of Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission are in communication with complainant Ms. Gita Dewan Verma to her satisfaction.
It was clarified by Shri Venugopalan, Dy. Secy and PIO in the hearing in the appeal decided on 18.3.’07 that the information sought i.e. list of materials held and not furnished, the first order and CD is likely to be with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA). Both MoUD and MoHUPA have JNNURM Mission Directors. He further confirmed in response to the Point (b) of the rejoinder from Ms Verma that no other material on the subject was then held by MoUD, than was provided to appellant Ms. Gita Dewan Verma.
In her rejoinder mentioned above Ms. Gita Dewan Verma had withdrawn her prayer for penalties in appreciation of the non adversarial tenor of first appeal order and comments of 22.1.07.
In the present case, therefore, while a copy of the comments received from each party be provided to the other parties in this case, the present complaint stands disposed of.
Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges, prescribed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.