शनिवार, 17 सितंबर 2016

Secrecy maintained by State Govt. on statement of Chief Secretary on Mahanadi issue

All of you might be aware that when the controversy around  Mahanadi water dispute  cropped  in the state   following allegation of State Govt about over-exploitation of water of River Mahanadi by Chhatishgarh Govt. and its  adverse impact on Odisha,  Mr. A.P.Padhi, Chief Secretary conducted a press conference  accusing   Central Govt. and  Chhattisgarh Govt.  responsible for Mahanadi water dispute.  The political parties strongly reacted against his statement and said that this was violation of ALL India Service Conduct Rules.

The question comes to my mind to know how the decision was taken by Govt.  to authorise  Sri Padhi to give such statement on Maghanadi Water dispute.  It is obvious to support argument of a section of the people that concerned Minister for Water Resource is the best one to give public statement on the issues concerning his/ her Dept. So Sri Nabin Patnaik, Chief Minister who has been holding this high profile Department for last 16 years is the best man to speak or give a public statement on the issues centring around Mahanadi. As Sri Patnaik lacks  minimum knowledge  about Mahanadi issue, he tried his best to avoid media, preferred to remain mum and   engaged Chief Secretary, rather than  a senior Minister to speak on his behalf  on this issue.

To understand  the administrative exercise  in State bureaucracy, RTI Application dated 17.8.16 was filed to  the PIO, Dept. of General Administration, Govt. of Odisha  seeking the information about  (a) copy of the Statement of Chief Secretary on Mahanadi river dispute which was circulated to media, (b)  details of decision taken at Govt. level authorizing Chief Secretary to give the statement on Mahanadi River dispute, (c) Has the Chief Minister instructed to Chief Secretary to give such statement and whether the instruction was orally or written.

My RTI Application was forwarded to Dept. of Water Resources to supply the information. On 12.9.16,  in response to RTI Application, the PIO has said that the said information is not available  with the Dept. and denied to provide the information.

It means the Govt. kept secret  of the said  information   apprehending that it  would expose their true character  and nefarious practice.  This is not a single case.  The State Govt. has started  an exercise  not to disclose many  information  under RTI   in order to protect their  corrupt practice and keep the people of Odisha in dark  about their illegalities  and cheating  in name of transparent Govt.  which is sheer deception.   

Pradip Pradhan, M-9937843482

Date 16.9.16

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