‘No need for RTI application’: Residents in this Indian state can now visit any government office and check official records once a week

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  • The government of the state of Maharashtra in India will allow its residents to directly inspect records of all district level offices and local government bodies for two hours every Monday, according to reports.
  • State residents reportedly won’t need to pay any fee or file a Right to Information (RTI) application to get access to public records. They can directly visit the office and look at the records.
  • The government’s resolution is however not applicable to the state secretariat because of lack of space.
Residents of Maharashtra, India, can now check records of all government department and local bodies by visiting government offices during a two-hour window every week.

The move is part of a recent resolution passed by the Maharashtra government under India’s Right to Information (RTI) laws, the Indian Express reported.

The resolution is aimed at bringing transparency to government operations and cut the load of RTI applications filed with authorities, said the report citing a senior government official.

State residents will not have to pay any fee or file an RTI application. They can reportedly directly visit the office and look at the records.

All district-level offices and local bodies such as municipal corporations and councils have been instructed to stay open for inspection between 3 pm to 5 pm every Monday. A formal order was issued on 26 November, according to the Indian Express report. In case of a public holiday, citizens will be permitted to inspect records on the next working day. However, the state secretariat of Maharashtra will not participate in the move because of space constraints.

In 2009, the Pune Municipal Corporation also opened its offices for public inspection, with the Pune Civic body allowing residents to also get a stamped copy of the records, according to the report.

India passed the “Right to information” laws in 2005, granting its citizens the means to access information that is under the control of any public authority.
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