Monday, May 01, 2017

Pallavaram municipal officials ‘leak’ details of RTI applicant to builder.

Indian Express: Chennai: Monday, May 1, 2017.
The officials of Pallavaram municipality had allegedly leaked the personal details of Right to Information (RTI) applicants to a third-party, according to activists who filed the RTI.
A group of four activists, along with two local residents filed an RTI application in March seeking a copy of the plan sanctioned by the Pallavaram Municipality to a retail outlet on Naidu Shop Road in Chromepet.
“When construction began last year, the building had a stilt and two floors. In due course, we saw that the parking space was being converted into a retail outlet. We then decided to question the authorities,” said Premchander P, a local and RTI applicant.
In its reply to activist David Manohar’s application, the municipality had said that the building permission had temporarily not been provided even though the building had been inspected thrice. In response to queries on deviations, the municipality simply said action had been taken under Section 205 of the TN Districts Municipalities Act, 1920.
“As I failed to get replies, I asked the local residents to file separate RTIs this time. Finally, I got a reply on April 20,” he said.
However, the matter did not end there. “The municipal officials divulged the details of the applicants to the builder, who has threatened some of the applicants,” said Manohar.
“I received calls from an unknown number, asking me questions like whether I was doing it for money or if I needed work,” said a woman applicant.
A senior municipal official denied the allegations saying the municipality had been unnecessarily dragged into a tussle between activists and the builder.