News headlines

from daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Aug 6: In continuation of the "Drive against Bribes" campaign, Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) held its fifth information action near the offices of the Quepem Mamlatdar and the Quepem Municipal Council to highlight the use of The Right to Information Act 2005. Volunteers of the Quepem Civic and Consumer Forum armed with placards focused on the effective use of RTI to put an end to bribery and corruption taking place in various Government Departments.

It may be noted that the "Drive against Bribes"campaign using Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) was launched in Goa on  July 1by GOACAN which is carrying out awareness cum assistance actions involving consumer volunteers. To promote RTI as a tool to curb demands for bribes in lieu of pending works in Municipal Councils and Village Panchayats, volunteers have been addressing Consumer Forum meetings in various villages of Goa.

The Consumer Forum volunteers participating in the action in Quepem met citizens visiting the various Govt. offices and requested them to take the message to the various villages of the Taluka that RTI can be used as an effective means to deal with pending works in Government Departments which have not been done due to expectation of bribes or sheer bureaucratic delay.

It maybe noted that recently the Civil Supplies Inspector of Quepem Taluka was caught by the Anti Corruption Cell of the Vigilance Department for demanding a bribe from a ration shop owner. The Inspector was subsequently suspended by the Department for Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs pending the completion of the investigation in the criminal case.

The GOACAN action specifically focused on RTI to be used to deal with Essential Commodities such as kerosene, ration and LPG that are being short supplied and for which proper information has not been made available to the consumer.

Since these matters come under the purview of the Department of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and cover Kerosene dealers, Ration shops and LPG distributors in the Taluka, information can be sought through RTI applications to the department.

Another area focused on was the use of RTI to deal with the pending applications for Income certificates, ration cards, resident certificates and other documents urgently required by citizens from the offices of the Talathis in their respective villages of Quepem Taluka which can be obtained through applications to the PIO (Public Information Officer) for
an amount Rs. 10-00. The volunteers also explained the unique provision of the RTI Act which provides for inspection of files in Govt. offices by the aggrieved citizens.

The volunteers informed citizens who want guidance in filing RTI applications or would like to provide information on officials demanding bribes, can contact the Quepem Civic and Consumer Forum or write to GOACAN

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