Anomalies in building work; RTI applicants threatened, says NVCO
Dimapur, March 10 (EMN): The Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) has denounced the alleged action of a mob in Phek who went so far as to threaten RTI applicants. A group forming themselves as ‘2-lane Sedzu to Dzulha Aggrieved Property Owners Association’ are said to have found that about INR 17.6 crore ‘was drawn’ against allegedly non-existent buildings in Phek, the NVCO stated in a press release.
The ICFAI University at Dimapur conducted a seminar on consumer rights and matters such as the Right to Information Act, food safety and food security on March 4, in the university’s auditorium. The NVCO’s president Kezhokhoto Savi issued a press release on Tuesday informing about the event.
Savi, the event’s speaker, said that access to information though the Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI) is one of the most powerful tools that have been provided to the citizens of the country.
‘Awareness about the RTI is still lacking in Nagaland where the NVCO was shocked to see the hundred of members of 2-lane Sedzu to Dzulha Aggrieved Property Owners Association took out silent rally at Chouzuba town (Dist-Phek) demanding disciplinary action in respect of an alleged obstruction to an RTI application on February 24 2020,’ he NVCO leader stated.
The NVCO termed as ‘very unfortunate’ the action of a mob from various villages in Chozuba sub-division thronging the residence of the RTI applicants ‘in forcing them to withdraw their RTI application and threatened them with life for filing an RTI application at DC office, Phek, Nagaland.’
“It is also learnt that the 2-LSDAPOA found out the amount of INR 17.6 crore was drawn against many non-existing building from their earlier RTI application from the office of the deputy commissioner, Phek,” the press release stated.
While bringing all these discrepancies to the notice of the state government no action was taken against this serious conduct of corruption, the NVCO stated.
“The NVCO questioned as to why the state government still remain silent and why the state government did not take any action against the district administration when huge amount of money was sanctioned/ release in favour of the many non-existing buildings. The NVCO extend its full support to 2-LSDAPOA in promoting RTI and their fight against corruption,” the press release added.
“Awareness is more important in rural areas where more disclosure is require in various schemes/projects meant for villagers. The object of passing RTI was to secure access to information under the control of public authorities in order to promote transparency and accountability in the functioning of every public authority, c urtail corruption and make our democracy work for the people in the real sense,” the gathering was told.
According to the press release, transparency will not be accomplished unless the people have accurate and verifiable information accessible.
“In democracy, public governance is a complex matrix of relationship between the institutions and civil societies with regard to responsibility and accountability for the management and control of public resources and delivery of public services.”
Most of the people from the remote rural areas are still unaware of this right which is equally important to them and it is the duty of the informed citizens to educate the people, the press release stated.
“Looking at the impact of RTI in Nagaland for the last ten years the NVCO came across the success stories and the misuse of RTI as well. So keeping in the importance of the RTI and impact, let us make the best use of this right and tool that has been provided and guaranteed by the Parliament to every citizen in the country and look forward to a future where we can achieve transparency, accountability, corruption-free and democracy to prevail in it truest sense,” the NVCO member stated.
Savi was also stated to have highlighted food safety, food security, Citizenship Amendment Act, Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland, Article 371A of Indian Constitution and the Eastern Bengal Frontier Regulation.