Early Times Report
Srinagar, May 8: An applicant seeking information under Right to Information (RTI) has accused the Health department in north Kashmir's Kupwara district of delaying the information. Mohsin Hussain War, son of Ghulam Nabi War, of Haril, Langate, had sought information from the Block Medical Office, Langate, regarding utilization of funds made under Van Bandu Kalayan Yojna (VBKY) in Monbal village and the sub centers falling around its jurisdiction.
"I have been visiting the office to seek the status of my application. The concerned officials however are taking the matter for granted. The officials here have blatantly violated the norms set under RTI Act 2009. 43 days have passed since I submitted the application," the applicant told Early Times.
The applicant had sought details about the total funds received under VBKY. "Information may be provided about opening balance, amount received, total balance utilization, refund, closing balance. Purpose for the utilization of these funds, for whom the payment was made, name of the party, amount paid date, vide cheque number, party account number, closing balance." The applicant has also sought the information about the bank statement, photocopy of bills, stock register, mode of purchasing either tendering or else, funds utilized for the strengthening of ST/SC sub centers under VBKY scheme and how much funds have been utilized for conducting of health, medical campus under those SC, ST areas.
"Information may also be provided about the date of medical camp, venue, and number of patients seen." One of the RTI activists said if any official delays or denies information then the applicant needs to appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA) who are the designated officers. He said if the applicant still is not satisfied or is not being provided information then the second appeal is to be filed before the second appellate authority. He also said third party information can be provided if public interest is involved in it. Another RTI activist said that representatives of government seem to be unaware about the law. "PIOs are not replying to applications within a period of 30 days," the activist maintained.