Special Reports

UP Information Commissioner Haider Abbas holds meetings

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Lucknow: UP State Information Commissioner, Haider Abbas, made his first official visit to Aligarh last month where he has held a review-meeting with the DM Abhishek Prakash over the progress into realising the 'recovery' made after penalties were imposed on the erring officials for non-compliance of RTI applications. During this four-day visit, he met a couple of officers of various departments and sensitised them over their responsibilities. The DM assured him of speedy recovery in such cases.   However, Abbas found that in context of six cases, in which the penalties had been imposed, the progress was naught. DM assured that very soon he would convene a workshop of all the Public Information Officers in the district for grooming them into becoming RTI-friendly.

The Commissioner stressed the need to implement Section 4 of the RTI Act-2005 as that would mean all the vital information be placed online by the concerned department and, thus, help redress the inquisitiveness of an applicant at the first and foremost level. During his visit, Abbas also met AMU VC Zameeruddin Shah who greeted him warmly.

On his return to Lucknow, on Oct 27, the Information Commissioner held  review meeting with high officials of UP State Transport and directed that only Public Information Officers or the First Appellate Authority should appear before the Commission and the department should not send any lay person instead. He also directed that UP State Transport should ensure putting-up hoardings on RTI on all UP bus terminals. He gave the same direction to the officials of UP State Tourism. The UP State Tourism was directed by the Commissioner to put up a free-of-cost stall for RTI awareness campaign at Lucknow Mahatsav which is slated to begin from Nov 25 and which attracts lakhs of people during the nine-day festival.

Haider Abbas is in-charge of eight districts in UP, i.e., Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Deoria, Kushinagar, Aligarh, Hathras, Kasganj and Etah, apart from around a dozen UP state departments, which include UP Minority Welfare Department, UP Sunni and Shia Central Waqf Boards and UP Election Commission as well.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2014 on page no. 13

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