To: All DDA officers designated PIO/Appellate
Authority for purpose of RTI Act, 2005 (via eml to ids
available at:
http://www.ddadelhi.com/about_us/pop_ups/appelateauthority.pdf)

Sub: Request for guidelines for exercising RTI u/s.6
pending sufficient publication u/s.4 and for review of
PIO jurisdictions so as to to cover the whole
Authority and Offer of support for streamlining
initiatives u/s.26(1); OR, alternatively, Request for
assistance u/s.5(3) to frame as RTI requests doubts
about the agenda of Authority meeting of 19.10.05 (wrt
 to letter to LG, endorsed to you, text included in
this message)

Madam / Sir

Kindly refer to the preamble of Right To Information
Act, 2005 (articulating intent of setting out
practical regime for RTI to harmonise likely conflict
with other public interests including efficient
operations of the Governments, etc) and, in this
context, to s.4(1)(b) (requiring information as per
sub-clauses (i) to (xvii) to have been published with
a view, as per s.4(2), to provide information suo motu
so that people have minimum resort to the use of this
Act to obtain it). Kindly refer also to s.4(1)(a)
(requiring records to be in a manner and form which
facilitates RTI and appropriate records to be, within
a reasonable time and subject to availability of
resources, computerised to facilitate access) and, in
this context, also to DDA Budget 2005-06 outlay of
Rs.18.92 Crs for system up-gradation, etc. Kindly
refer, in context of the foregoing, to DDA website and
please note that:
(1) RTI Act is mentioned neither on home-page nor in
site-map but in About-Us section
(2) link labelled "Right Information Act 2005" (please
note inaccuracy in label) is to a page that contains
only three links and does not serve RTI facilitating /
minimising objectives.
(3) link labelled "Principal Information Officers and
Appellate Authority" (please note inaccuracy in label)
is to a pdf file providing details of as many as 40
PIOs, with  jurisdictions that are not readily
relate-able to information otherwise available on the
website (in 6 sections, viz, Planning, Housing, Land,
Heritage, Sports, Greens)
---------------------
I request, firstly, publishing on DDA website
guidelines for responsibly exercising RTI (u/s.6)
pending sufficient suo motu publication (u/s.4) to
facilitate / minimize it.  
---------------------

Further, kindly refer to Delhi Development Act, 1957,
Chapter-II, section-3 (pertaining to the Authority
itself), section-5 (pertaining to Advisory Council
constituted by the Authority), section-5A (pertaining
to Committees constituted by the Authority) and
section-4 (pertaining to Staff of the Authority,
including s.4(1) pertaining to Secretary and Chief
Accounts Officer and s.4(2) pertaining to other
officers and employees). In this context, please note
that neither suo motu information on DDA website nor
jurisdictions of designated PIOs, etc, cover the
Authority, its Advisory Council, Committees or
Secretary, ie, only the portion of DDA created by
s.4(2) seems to have been brought into the purview of
RTI Act. This is patently counter-productive, as:
(a) using RTI for transparency at level of employees
(who are accountable to the Authority) while leaving
out the Authority (which is accountable to the people)
is ultimately pointless and also likely to exacerbate
conflicts, which is contrary to RTI Act purpose.
(b) preoccupation with transparency at level of
employees may well be at cost of oversight of drift
from statutory mandate at level of the Authority (such
as suggested by news reports of Authority meeting on
19.10.05), which is deleterious in terms of DD Act
imperatives.
---------------------
I urge review of PIO jurisdictions so as to cover the
whole Authority for consistency with RTI Act purpose
and harmony with DD Act imperatives.
---------------------

If DoPT, involved in general modalities for RTI Act,
is not running agency-specific programs u/s.26(1)
and/or DDA officials who qualified DoPT
Training-of-Trainers are inclined to conduct one, I
would like to offer support. Please note I am not
short of work and am making this offer because I
consider it my responsibility in view of my unusual
qualifications and experience. I qualified both DTS
and DoT programs of DoPT and have ample DoT (Design of
Training) experience. As a qualified researcher I am
interested in use and politics of information and
currently exploring the architecture of RTI Act. As a
qualified planner engaging on Delhi Master Plan issues
I have a thorough understanding of DD Act.
---------------------
If DDA has any use of my support for streamlining
initiatives u/s.26(1), it is on offer for purposes of
DD Act to which I am wholeheartedly committed as a
planner.
---------------------

In case you find all of the above unworthy of your
consideration, then please provide me reasonable
assistance u/s.5(3) of RTI Act to frame as requests
u/s.6, in a manner consistent with your
responsibilities under RTI Act and DD Act, my doubts
about the agenda of the Authority meeting on 19.10.05,
expressed in my letter to LG endorsed to you, text of
which is below.

Yours sincerely
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner
1356, DI Vasant Kunj, New Delhi - 110070
email: [email protected]

cc: Hon'ble LG (DDA Chairman & Competent Authority for
RTI Act, 2005)
cc: [email protected]

===letter dated & dispatched by courier on 24/10/05===

Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor of NCT Delhi
(DDA Chairman & Competent authority for RTI Act, 2005)

Sub:        DMP-2021 Public Notice & implementation of RTI
Act, 2005, in DDA
Ref:        News reports of Authority meeting on 19.10.05

Respected Sir,

From news reports it appears DMP2021 Public Notice

process (in which hearings on objections/suggestions
started on 03.10.05) and Right To Information Act,
2005 (which came fully in force on 12.10.05) were not
on agenda of the Authority meeting on 19.10.05.

1. Apropos DMP2021 Public Notice, permit me to urge
that at the moment this is the prime responsibility of
the Authority that exists only for purposes of DD Act
(s.3) with sole object of promoting and securing
development of Delhi according to plan (s.6). Further,
Rules require consideration / disposal of responses by
a Board of Enquiry and Hearing drawn exclusively from
the Authority and its Advisory Council. This does
prevent the Authority from considering / deciding the
same issues on its own. Regrettably, all three major
agenda items reportedly considered / decided on
19.10.05 - viz, further land acquisition for Games
Village on the riverbed, private participation in
housing approved in principle in July, and disposal
policy/rates for institutional land and schools -
relate to DMP2021 proposals and are pending disposal
of its Public Notice. (I am aggrieved by all three on
account also of pending court matters, other s.11A
public notices and s.41(3) applications and can submit
details if necessary).  Under these odd circumstances:
(a) I appeal to you u/s.41(3) of DD Act to call for
records of DMP2021 and other pending Public Notices,
pending applications u/s.41(3) and pending court
matters related to agenda items for Authority meeting
of 19.10.05 and to satisfy yourself of legality and
propriety of its agenda and business, in their
context.
(b) I seek urgent disposal of my application u/s.41(3)
about DMP2021 Public Notice process (dispatched on
01.10.05, hand-delivered on 03.10.05 with my complaint
to Police Commissioner against NGO protest against the
Authority over illegal demand to be on the Board). The
board that heard me on 03.10.05 was not as per Rules
and details of IT Park Public Notice in Additional
Affidavit of 18.10.05 on behalf of the Authority in my
WP 6500/2005 point to non-conforming practice.

2. Apropos Right To Information, the Authority seems
to have exempted itself from the RTI Act, 2005. On the
website of the DDA is a list of as many as 40 PIOs,
none of whom have jurisdiction over the business of
the Authority, its Advisory Council, Committees
constituted by it, its Secretary. Nor is any
information about the Authority, its Advisory Council,
etc, available suo-motu on the website. RTI is, thus,
exercisable only vis-à-vis employees of the Authority
(who are accountable to the Authority) and not the
Authority (which is accountable to the people). This
is a diabolical situation (distressingly underscored
by press reports that make much of the Authority's
"displeasure" with DDA, as if the two are separate,
while media/NGO campaigns urge indiscriminate use of
RTI). And the matters that the Authority considered /
decided (and did not consider / resolve) in the week
of RTI Act coming fully into force make a poignant
comment on expectations of accountability. I seek your
intervention and am enclosing for your perusal my note
to DDA officers designated as PIOs / Appellate
Authorities.

Yours sincerely  
sd/-
Gita Dewan Verma, Planner

cc: DDA officers designated PIO/Appellate Authority
via e-mail to ids on
http://www.ddadelhi.com/about_us/pop_ups/appelateauthority.pdf

 

 


        
               
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