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The bhoomi pujan (ground breaking) ceremony for the new office complex of the Central Information Commission (CIC), earlier scheduled for Sunday, was postponed after objections from some commissioners, said sources.
These commissioners had claimed that they were informed about the ceremony on Friday, which was too late, and some of them were already out of town, said sources. They had conveyed their objections to Chief Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma, said sources.
While Sharma declined to comment on the issue, a senior CIC officer told The Indian Express that a new date for the ceremony will be decided in a meeting expected to be held next week.
The CIC’s office, currently located at August Kranti Bhavan, will soon shift to the new complex at a site close to the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Some of the work of the CIC was also conducted in an office in the old JNU campus.
There have been demands from several quarters that the new CIC office should be located in central Delhi, to make it approachable for appellants, respondents and counsels alike. Some others have suggested that the present space occupied by the CIC at August Kranti Bhawan should be handed over to the commission permanently.
“We have raised this issue on several occasions. The new site has no connectivity, there are no bus stops or Metro stations nearby. It is difficult to get an auto rickshaw there,” said one of the commissioners.
On an average, 400 appellants, respondents and their counsels visit CIC every day. According to RTI activists, the location of the new office will make it difficult for them to approach the commission. “The appellants who come from outside Delhi will need one extra day to get their work done,” said RTI activist Subhash Aggarwal.