Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ambattur Municipality ignores RTI plea

Published Date: 6/6/2009 - (NIE)

G Saravanan

Chennai, June 5: TWO months have passed by now, but officials at the Ambattur Municipality are yet to reply to an RTI application filed by Bharathi Cultural and Welfare Association, Korattur, seeking details about the expenditure incurred while desilting North Canal in their locality. In an RTI application dated March 23, 2009, V Jayapalan, secretary of the association, a united body of several TNHB colonies in Korattur, had sought details like how much was really spent on desilting the North Canal and also about the duration of the cleaning work from Ambattur Municipality.

“We the residents of Korattur are disappointed with the lackadaisical attitude of the municipal authorities, who possibly do not like people to know the truth,” lamented Jayapalan.

The highly polluted and encroached North Canal is a perennial problem for the local residents, said Seshagiri Rao, joint secretary of the association. “The particular canal was not cleaned or desilted for the last three years. After media reports on the issue last August, the former commissioner of Ambattur Municipality Chakrapani had sanctioned Rs 10 lakh. But no one knew where the amount had indeed gone, but the canal remains the same,” Rao said. As the canal was not desilted on time, the entire colony along the banks was inundated and rainwater entered into every house during last November. Few days after the torrential rain, Chief Secretary K S Sripathy, visited the area and met the affected residents.

“When Sripathy landed in our colony, I explained to him the issues in person how the canal is causing floods during rainy season,” Rao further said. Even after his visit, nothing fructified and finally the residents filed a RTI petition with Ambattur Municipality seeking details of expenditure, but there was no reply even after two months. Reply to any RTI queries should be sent within 30 days to the applicant and failing to comply the period would invite fine.

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