This refers to article Voluntary disclosure of information by Dr Raja Muzzafar Bhat (DE 6.3.2018). The voluntary disclosure of information as mandated under section 4 of Central and State RTI laws will not only help people to access information within a very short time but this will actually reduce the burden of the RTI applications in Government Offices. It has been observed in several Government offices that officers incharge of RTI section particularly the Public Information Officers (PIOs) and RTI dealing clerks are fed up with regular RTI applications being filed in their offices. Had the official record been digitized in these offices the amount of RTI applications would come down drastically.
Why shall a villager have to file an RTI application to get details of assessment made by horticulture officer for his trees which are to be axed as mentioned in article by Dr Muzaffar ? This information has to be provided free of cost or has to be published in local news papers. Similarly why shall a person have to file RTI application before Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) / Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) or any other municipal council or municipal committee to get list of building permissions granted ? This information has to be updated by civic bodies on regular basis on their websites ? The JMC / SMC websites are not updated on regular basis and unfortunately there are no websites at all for our 80 plus Municipal Councils / Committees operating in J&K under Directorate of Urban Local Bodies Jammu / Kashmir respectively. The Municipal Committees / Councils are not ready to spend Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 for creating websites.
Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) has issued several notices to the Government regarding non implementation of section 4 of RTI Act , but his orders are being disobeyed. I appeal to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Chief Secretary B B Vyas to take a strong notice of this. Government record should be digitized at a massive level and all the official websites should be updated on regular basis and officials at the helm of affairs should be given the task to do this work in a specific time period.