New Delhi; Ninety-two per cent of the total number of RTI requests filed with different departments of the Delhi government were filed online after the system was introduced 10 months ago, according to government data.
Of the total 20,276 Right to Information (RTI) requests received by different departments since the launch of the online option, 18,582 were filed online while only 1,688 were filed by post and other means, according to the data accessed by IANS.
The data is from July 10, 2017, the day when the system was launched by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, to May 4, 2018.
Under the online system, an RTI can be filed with around 190 departments and autonomous bodies under the Delhi government, by paying a fee of Rs 10 and it can be done round the clock, making the process simpler.
The government received Rs 118,520 as RTI fee in the same period, according to the data.
One of the officials responsible for the implementation of the online RTI system said the government had saved money on postal charges as most RTI replies were now sent online.
“We are working on an option for users to create accounts like in central government RTI system and are also planning to put up online questions asked under RTI,” the officer said.
Mohit Goel, an RTI activist for the past 12 years, said after the introduction of the online system, the entire process had become convenient and faster.
“Earlier, we used to send the RTI request by post and it took four-five days to reach the office. And many times, the RTI was transferred to another department and it also took time. But now everything has become online,” Goel said.
A senior government officer said the monitoring and management of RTI requests had become easier online.
“We did not have a centralized figure of the pendency of RTIs. But now we know the total number of pending RTIs and also the first and second appeals,” he said.
The officer said earlier the RTI fee paid went to different departments. But now it goes to one account of the Delhi government and can be used for something useful as the amount gets consolidated.
The Delhi government launched the online system with 173 public authorities and now public can file RTI requests with around 190 departments online.
(Nikhil M. Babu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)