Home ODISHA LATEST Activist questions lack of transparency in Odisha mining dept

Activist questions lack of transparency in Odisha mining dept


Bhubaneswar, June 14 :

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International Saturday filed a complaint with an Odisha official pointing out irregularities in the state’s steel and mines department.

steel & mines dept websiteTransparency International (TI)-India board member Biswajit Mohanty who filed the complaint with state chief secretary J.K. Mohapatra said the government had introduced a system of uploading all letters issued by different departments on their respective official websites.

While most departments are following this, the steel and mines department has stopped doing it since October 2013, Mohanty told IANS.

“We do not know what prompted the department which had earlier implemented the system to suddenly drop it mid-way,” he said.

A senior official of the steel and mines department said he will look into the matter but declined to comment further.

Mohanty alleged that only letters issued to RTI (Right to Information) applicants are being uploaded on the department’s website at present but this does not fulfill the objective of ensuring transparency in its operations.

Citing the information he obtained under the RTI Act, Mohanty said a total of 5,278 letters were issued by the despatch section of the department from Oct 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014. Of this, only 654 letters or only 12 per cent were uploaded during the same period, he said.

“Thus majority of the letters or about 88 percent were concealed from the public,” he said.

Mohanty urged the chief secretary to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the officials concerned for violating the tenets of e-governance and official practice of the government.

He also urged him to direct the department to immediately commence uploading of the letters, including those issued earlier.

“The steel and mines department is in the dock over the mining scam in the state which has seen an alleged loot of at least Rs.60,000 crore of public wealth,” he said.

“It is obvious there are many corrupt and delinquent officers in this department who connived with the mining mafia to enable this loot,” he said.