Panaji, Oct 12 (UNI) The Goa Civic and Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) has started observing the 'Right To Information (RTI) Fortnight' from today, coinciding with the second anniversary of the enactment of the RTI Act, 2005.
The campaign seeks to address the need for awareness on RTI as well as to petition the Goa government to fulfil its duties with respect to the Act, besides demanding the state to print for sale the copies of the Act in English and vernacular languages at affordable prices.
The NGO has further urged the government to increase training sessions for its officials in the administration of the RTI Act, especially the Village Panchayat Secretaries and Head Clerks of various Departments.
It has also asked the authorities to publicise the salient features of the Act through advertisements on hoardings and cable TV networks, besides and wall painting at bus terminals, Primary Health Centres, Police Stations, offices of Mamlatdars, District Collectors and all village panchayats and Municipal Councils.
During the fortnight, GOACAN will network with the village based Consumer Forums to promote awareness on the RTI Act in the local areas.
Consumer Forum activists will organise ''phone in's'' with the various Heads of Departments and Central Government offices operating in Goa to verify whether the RTI procedures are being followed.
The Forum volunteers will also publicise the user-friendly method of affixing a Rs 10 Court Fee stamp on the RTI application at the time of submission.
In order to draw public and media attention to the use of RTI Act during the fortnight, surprise visits and checks, submitting of RTI applications and inspection of files will be undertaken.
The consumer activists will also publicise the address, telephone and fax numbers and email id of the Goa State Information Commission, the list of the PIOs, APIOs and the Appellate Authorities, according to Roland Martins, coordinator of the NGO.