BMRCL sits on RTI query for 4 months

BMRCL sits on RTI query for 4 months

Questions on maintenance of viaducts, pillars remain unanswered

The best way the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has found to deal with people seeking information, which they have the right to know, seems to be apathy followed by arrogance.

In what could be termed a clear case of Corporation’s disinterest or “arrogance” as claimed by the applicant, an RTI application, seeking some basic information, has been pending with it since October 2011.

Harikirshna S Holla, a senior adovcate had, on October 21, 2011, filed an application seeking answers to eight questions mostly pertaining to maintenance of the viaducts, pillars and the area around them. He has not received a reply until now.

“Even though my application was duly acknowledged by the officer concerned, so far no action has been taken. Therefore, an appeal was filed with the managing director through an email on January 10, 2012. Yet, no action appears to have been taken,” he said.

Holla said he was planning to file an appeal before the Information Commissioner, New Delhi, since the Corporation has grossly violated the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.

On contacting BMRCL Managing Director, N Sivasailam, who after having barely heard anything, said: “There is a process, there is a public information officer, after that there is an appellate authority.”

On bringing to his notice, after a struggle, that the applicant had even brought to his notice the lapse in procedure, he said: “Doesn’t matter, it does not matter... he has to write to the competent authority who has been defined under the Act.”

Holla said he would move the court if the information sought was not provided even after his appeal before the information commissioner. On the matter being taken up before the information commissioner, Sivasailam said: “Let him go, no problem.”

Answering a question on whether there was a particular reason the application has been kept pending, he said: “Who are you. I do not need to reply to are not entitled to ask me these questions and you do not have any business asking me.”

The BMRCL had come under fire in the past for not being transparent and even the chief minister had “advised” the Corporation and its top brass on the issue.

Holla, in his response to Sivasailam’s reaction, said: “Somebody holding a public office must understand and co-operate when matters relating to public interest are being discussed.”

On the contrary, Sivasailam relentlessly spoke about there being a law and how he - in this case - the BMRCL, was not answerable to anybody but law, and paid no attention to the fact that the questions were posed to him since the BMRCL had denied information, violating laws.

Questions unanswered
* Why viaducts in Reach 1 have not been painted?

* Who is responsible for the painting?

* What action you have taken to prevent sticking bills on the pillars by unauthorised persons and causing litter in public? If BMRCL is not responsible for maintenance of pillars and space below them, have you made any request to BBMP to prevent the littering?

* Can BMRCL paint on the pillars “Stick No Bills” to prevent unauthorised sticking causing litter in public?

* Why no action is taken to maintain space below the pillars in Reach 1?

* Have you already settled the bills of contractors who have been entrusted with work of construction of pillars and have they submitted completion certificate?

* What action has been taken by BMRCL to prevent litter being caused below the viaducts and preventing parking vehicles, etc?

* What action the BMRCL has taken to beautify space below viaducts and pillars/piers in Reach 1?