Chief Minister Mr. Arvind Kejriwal launched the online Right to Information (RTI) portal, www.rtionline.delhi.gov.in on Monday (July 10) at the Delhi Secretariat. The event was attended by Administrative Reforms Minister Mr. Kailash Gahlot, Water Minister Mr. Rajendra Pal Gautam and senior officials of the Delhi Government.
This portal will help citizens file RTI applications as well as first appeals in approximately 172 different departments/autonomous bodies of the NCT of Delhi. This also covers the Office of the Chief Minister and Cabinet Ministers.
Now, the citizens will just have to click a button to file an RTI application and can appeal after filing some general information. Citizens would also get information online and also get message alert and mail alert of any action taken on their RTI application.
This is a historic day for Delhi in particular and India in general. On this day I remember how Anna Hazare ji and Aruna Roy ji worked for the Right to Information. They led the movement by the poorest realising that information was power. Aruna Roy ji led the ‘Hamara Paisa, Hamara Hisaab’ campaign for transparency.
“Every one of us, even the poorest among us, pay taxes on which the government runs. From birth to death we all pay taxes. When people pay tax, they have the right to know how their money was being spent by the government of the day. They have a right to how is their government being run,” he added.
Initially, when RTI came into existence, its implementation was not up to the mark. Applications were rejected on frivolous ground, he said.
Commenting on the RTI portal, Mr. Kejriwal said, “Now you have to go nowhere to know anything about your Delhi Government, you can get the information just at a click”.
The Chief Minister said that all the RTI applications along with their replies would be uploaded on the internet. He said that this will give answer to many people who will otherwise need to file an RTI for the same information which already had been given to someone else.
“The real Right to Information would be achieved the day when the government starts putting up information important for the public in public domain. Transparency would stop corruption. Delhi government would put up more and more information in the public domain,” said he.
“Like for example, if we start putting up sale and other registers of a ration shop every day in public domain, the bungling will be curbed. This will also make beneficiaries powerful as they would be equipped with more and more information,” added the CM.
“Departments who do construction like PWD, DSIDC, Irrigation, Flood Control etc should also put up all details of the projects in the public domain. They should put up the measurement books, project details, bills etc on the internet. We have to move towards achieving this. This will also curb corruption,” said the Chief Minister.
When asked whether the Cabinet Ministers would also be covered, Mr. Kejriwal said, not only the ministers, the Chief Minister will also be covered under this.