There was no urgency or will to ensure water supply to Bindapur Colony and this despicable pushing the blame within the government continued for decades without fulfilment of a simple promise. This is the 42nd in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while disposing an appeal, said although it did not have authority in the matter it would send a copy of its decision to the chief minister of Delhi in the hope that a promise made by the government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to Bindapur Colony in Pocket 4 can be fulfilled.
While giving this important judgement on 15 February 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, said, “Inspite of two chief secretaries (CSs) loftily committing, there is no urgency or will to ensure that water is supplied to this (Bindapur) colony. This despicable pushing the blame within the government can continue for decades without fulfilment of a simple promise made to this colony.”
Delhi resident Jawahar Singh sought information from the GNCTD about a letter written by chief engineer DDA (Dwarka) for supplying water to Bindapur Colony. Here is the information he sought on 13 November 2009 from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the GNCTD...
Information Sought (with reference to a letter written by chief engineer DDA (Dwarka) on 11/02/2007 Bindapur 3856 dated 08/10/2009 No CE by /RTI/D104)....
1. Whether action has been taken on the basis of a letter written by DDA to chief secretary, finance. This letter was written in response to a query sought by the appellant.
2. Whether any fund has been earmarked for different plans.
b) Whether any fund has been set aside for water development in Bindapur Pocket 4.
3. Whether any action has been taken by the finance department of the GNCTD on the basis of the letter sent by DDA.
In his reply on 23 December 2009, the PIO mentioned that the appellant’s RTI application had already been transferred to the office of PR secretary, urban development ministry and also to the office of chief engineer (DWK), DDA Manglapuri.
Not satisfied with the reply, Singh then approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA did not pass any order. Then Singh filed his second appeal before the Commission.
During the hearing, the PIO of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) informed the Commission that in 1999 the chief secretary had directed Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to ensure that water supply was provided to Bindapur JJ Colony. On 16 February 1999, the then chief secretary of the GNCTD had recorded that, “CS made it clear that this decision would be specific only to Bindapur JJ Colony and would not act as precedent for any other case. DJB was directed to complete work of provision of water from their own resources.”
Following this directions, government officials held several meetings without getting anywhere near to implementation of the project.
On 1 May 2006, the then CS of GNCTD directed both DJB and DDA to make a joint inspection and issue a deficiency estimate so that the work can be completed. During the inspection, DJB pointed out that the system laid by DDA was not functional. This was also informed to the principal secretary of the urban development (UD) department of the GNCTD. In a meeting on 26 October 2006, the then principal secretary (UD) declared that “principal secretary (UD) made it clear that the services cannot be kept on hold and directed DDA to remove the deficiencies in the presence of DJB, out of funds from their own sources and then hand over the water/sewer lines to DJB. Thereafter, the responsibility of maintenance would rest with the DJB.”
The Commission, said about 15 officers of the Delhi government, with whom it held discussions, indicated that DDA appeared to have spent about Rs1 crore for laying a system of pipes and underground reservoir. DJB also claimed that when the joint inspection was done it was found that the under reservoir had no pipes or equipment for pumping and it was housing pigs and cattle. The DJB official also stated that there was no system in place by which water supply of Bindapur Pocket-4 could be ensured. It was not known what happened to the money spent.
The officials also told the Commission that Bindapur Colony, Pocket-4 was an authorized colony developed by the DDA and there was a difficulty in supplying water to this colony. “Around this colony there are unauthorized colonies to which the government is finding it easy to supply the water. It is apparent that the Delhi Government is incapable of supplying water which is a basic function which the government has to fulfil,” the Commission noted.
Mr Gandhi, in his order, said, "In spite of two chief secretaries loftily committing that water has to be supplied to this colony. There is no urgency or will to ensure that water is supplied to this colony. This Commission has no authority in this matter but will send a copy of this decision to the chief minister of Delhi in the hope that a promise made by the Government to Bindapur Colony, Pocket-4 can be fulfilled.”
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/000073/6839
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/000073
Appellant : Jawahar Singh,
New Delhi- 110059.
Respondent : SKS Yadav
Public Information Officer & JS
Government of NCT of Delhi.
9th Floor, Delhi Secretariat, New Delhi
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