Amritsar, 14th Jan 2014:– In a letter written to Hon’ble. Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi by Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala – patron of Amritsar Vikas Manch a premier NGO from Amritsar & North Punjab has demanded the provision of RTI facility on phone by Delhi Govt.
He said that Bihar is one of the first states to accept this right to information applications on phone, inaugurated by the Chief minister of Bihar named as ’Jaankari’ call centre on 29 January 2007. The objective was to ensure transparency and to expand its reach to villages, where the literacy rate is low.
It is a user friendly ICT (Information and Communications Technology) based facilitation centre to help citizens of Bihar in getting governance related information from public information officers (PIOs) under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI) within stipulated time frame. Use of ICT tools have been widely appreciated by the media and the people because of its user friendly format. It would be very useful for the rural people, who can get information without having to visit the office. The project Report on Jaankari can accessed from Bihar Govt. website: http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Articles/JAANKARI-pdf-26-03-07.pdf
According to this project, Facilitation Centre “JAANKARI” was designated and authorized to receive phone calls from public at the pre arranged premium rate i.e. a call costing Rs. 10/per call (rupees ten per call) to take care of the prescribed application fee and generate RTI application on behalf of the caller. Arrangements were made by Beltron to have PRI E-I lines of BSNL dial (15311) terminated at the Facilitation Centre. Besides premium rate call number, another five digit number dial (155310) for help line on normal tariff was also made available for general enquiry on RTI and application status etc. Both these numbers have been widely publicized for public knowledge. The Procedures for filing “Request for Information” is given in detail on: www.cic.gov.in/CIC-Articles/JAANKARI-pdf-26-03-07.pdf
Mr Gumtala requested Delhi CM to create same procedure in Delhi so that public can get RTI information on phone. He also said that he has written to Prime Minister’s Office and Punjab CM numerous times in the last 2 years but nothing has materialised so far there. Hope the Delhi govt will bring some new changes.