Emphasising the “need” to take Right to Information to the next level, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while launching an e-RTI portal at the Delhi Secretariat on Monday, said the Delhi government will upload all relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning.
The e-RTI portal, which has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), will enable citizens to file RTI applications pertaining to 172 departments of the Delhi government.
Kejriwal added that all applications, along with their replies, would be uploaded online to ensure that queries aren’t repeated. In January 2016, the government had said it would start accepting online RTI applications to simplify the process. The project was supposed to begin by April 2016.
With the launch of the portal (rtionline.delhi.gov.in), Delhi is the first union territory to put in place such a system and the second after Maharashtra to launch the online RTI platform. “Today is a historic day as people won’t need to visit a government office to file RTIs…” he said.
Kejriwal was flanked by cabinet colleagues Kailash Gahlot, administrative reforms minister, and Rajendra Pal Gautam, the water minister. He also “remembered” former colleagues Anna Hazare and Aruna Roy, who had worked for the RTI.
Explaining the importance of the portal, particularly for the poor, Kejriwal said everyone paid “taxes on which the government runs”. “People have the right to know how their money is being spent by the government. They have a right to know how the government is being run,” he said.
Initially, when the RTI came into existence, its implementation was not up to the mark and applications were rejected on frivolous grounds, he said.
Giving an example, Kejriwal said that if the department concerned puts up daily sales reports of ration shops online, people won’t have to file RTIs to seek information. “People of respective areas will be able to verify the claims straightaway,” he said.
The e-portal also has an option to pay the application fee via netbanking. As many as 172 nodal officers have been appointed to monitor the e-portal.