DNA: Mumbai: Sunday, 04 October 2015.
Just how many police officers are occupying government-allotted houses will now be in public domain.
In an order that will give more transparency in the allotment and waiting list procedure in the force, the state information commission has ordered that the list of houses be put up on the force's website in two months.
The order was passed by Ajitkumar Jain, information commissioner (Brihanmumbai bench) on September 7 on an application made by Kurla resident Nishant Ghadge. Ghadge, in his application, had sought details on the number of government flats, list of people who have been allotted those flats, those who are yet to get and those who have been staying there.
"Despite repeated sloganeering by politicians, housing continues to be an issue for policemen. The number of houses is half their strength in the force. There are many who have not received a house for a very long time. There are times when officers do not vacate the flats allotted to them even after the stipulated time period is over. In such cases, those who have not received any house continue to feel homeless. When I met an officer he told me all this and, hence, I decided to file an RTI application," said Ghadge.
"There are charges of bribery in allotment and no transparency. While senior officers make sure they get their houses, the situation is the opposite for lower-rung officers."
In the order, the commission asked that the information be put up online under section 4 (3), which pertains to suo motu disclosure in a way that it is easily accessible to the public. It is also the way in which the applicant had sought details. When contacted, Mumbai police commissioner Ahmad Javed said, "Let me peruse the order, only then I can respond."