On Jan 11, 2019 Ghaziabad based green activist sought information about the number of ponds existing in Gautam Budh Nagar, Dadri and Jewar sub divisions. He also sought information on the encroachments on these ponds and the constructions made on them and other such details. However, to his utter dismay the PIO of GB Nagar administration declined to provide him the details citing that such information does not come under the purview of the RTI Act as it would have to be compiled from various sources.

Vashishtha then made a first appeal to ADM Finance/Revenue- the first appellate authority saying that the DM is the head of the revenue records of the district- in this case GB Nagar and hence such information is part and parcel of what his office should have provided after being sought.  

In his letter Vashishtha says, “I have strong objection to the response, so stated, as the PIO – Land Records is willfully and deliberately defeating the purposes and intent of the RTI Act, 2005. I am not satisfied with the said reply.”   

According to Vashishtha the District Magistrate is legally bound to have all the land records, including those of ponds, water bodies and other Gram Sabha lands of a district and the PIO had deliberately avoided providing this information, which is in great public interest.

Vashishtha’s letter further says, “You are requested to direct the PIO to furnish me the information – clearly, elaborately and point-wise — at the earliest and without any cost, as provided in the RTI Act 2005, else I would have to approach the State Information Commission, the entire cost of which would have to be borne by your department.”

Pic is representational

Prasoon Pant, delhincrnews.in

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