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Coronavirus | Food controller in Madhya Pradesh answers RTI queries in 12 hours

Applicant receives information within 12 hours

Information sought under the Right to Information Act usually takes days, even months, to reach applicants. And when the entire Madhya Pradesh government machinery is combating the COVID-19 outbreak and offices are shuttered amid the lockdown, the right appears to have been temporarily suspended too, but not in Rewa district. 

Pleasant surprise

On April 24, to his pleasant surprise, Raghvendra Dubey, a social worker, got a reply to his query in just 12 hours — that too on WhatsApp. This novel improvisation saved him and the public information officer (PIO) from the convention of meeting to exchange the information, ensuring social distancing that is helping keep the coronavirus at bay is upheld.

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草草影院最新地址入口Mr. Dubey had submitted the application through email at 9.30 p.m. on April 23. In a set of queries, he asked how many beneficiaries in Kot village of the district were given free ration under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, to help them tide over the lockdown, and how much the district administration had procured for distribution. 

“Villagers had informed us that ration was not distributed in the village to those eligible. And they were waiting for it,” said Mr. Dubey. He had sought information within 48 hours under section 7(1) of the Act, when the information sought concerns the life and liberty of a person. 

The next morning, at 9 a.m., his WhatsApp chimed. The district’s Food Controller informed him the supply of 113.75 quintals of rice to 2,275 individuals for each month was pending for two months. And as for information relating to procurement, he could log in to a website.

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Proactive response

Rajendra Singh Thakur, the PIO, was on a previous occasion rapped and fined by the State Information Commission for delaying giving out the information asked for. “His proactiveness this time has surprised everyone,” said Rahul Singh, Information Commissioner. 

草草影院最新地址入口At present, the Commission was not pressing authorities to answer queries immediately in order to not distract them from tackling the contagion and supplying food to the needy, said Mr. Singh.

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草草影院最新地址入口“But we welcome such measures. Since the matter was relating to the right to food, which can be read with the fundamental Right to Life, it was important,” he added. Mr. Singh contended this was arguably the first instance in the country of an official providing information under the Act during the lockdown. 

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Printable version | Apr 27, 2020 1:24:45 PM | http://hwgcfsf.com/news/national/other-states/food-controller-in-madhya-pradesh-answers-rti-queries-in-12-hours/article31439560.ece

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