Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 6:
Is the Steel & Mines department of the Odisha government trying to conceal something from the public ? Well-known RTI activist and member of the Transparency International board , Dr Biswajit Mohanty has dashed off a complaint letter to the chief secretary asking why the Steel & Mines department has stopped uploading the letters issued by it after September 1, 2013.
The Odisha government as part of its e-governance initiative had started the e-despatch system wherein all letters despatched by various departments were uploaded on their respective websites. Citizens could check and download any letter they wanted from this website, he said.
” We welcomed this system which was started by the G.A. Department and hoped that it would bring about a greater level of transparency in the functioning of the state government. However, shockingly, the Steel and Mines Department has stopped uploading departmental letters w.e.f. 1.09.2013 for no reason. Only letters connected with RTI applications and their processing are being uploaded. ” Dr Mohanty said in his letter.
Alleging that the move is to suppress facts and information he said, “We believe that this move by the Steel and Mines Department is to conceal information about its activities as it is a scam-hit department whose officers were involved in the Rs.60,000 crore mining scam.”
Dr Mohanty has also submitted a table illustrating the sudden decline in the uploading of letters on the e-despatch portal of the Steel and Mines Department over the last eight months:
Month & Year / No. of Letters uploaded
The RTI activist has requested the chief secretary to issue orders to the Steel and Mines Department to upload all letters on the e-despatch portal immediately and also to take steps to ensure all letters written after the September 1, 2013 are placed on the portal for public scrutiny and information.