NGO urges to follow Bihar example on use of RTI

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Panaji, Oct 7 (UNI) A Goan NGO -''Utt Goenkara''- today urged citizens to follow the Bihar example of filing applications under the Right to information (RTI) Act over the telephone.

''If a big state like Bihar could evolve a system of accepting applications for the convenience of the general public, why not go follow suit?' NGO spokesperson Adv Aires Rodrigues said.

The NGO, he said, has planned to start ''RTI Clinics'' where people could obtain help in filing and following up applications under the Act with various government departments.

Stressing the need for strengthening the functioning of the State Information Commission, he asked the commission to deal strictly with the bureaucrats who refuse to follow the RTI guidelines.

Sometimes, even the honest officers tend to evade the responsibility because they are culturally not oriented to give an information to the public, he said.

Stating that the RTI Act was a radical piece of legislation that had ensured that the ''Aam Aadmi'' no longer felt ''helpless'', Mr.

Rodrigues said the Act was an opportunity to make a difference in governance.

The right to information is a fundamental to the very existence of democracy and the people in Goa should take the best advantage of the Act to ensure that the government machinery is made accountable and responsible, he added.

UNI

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