Uttarakhand Information Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on the Rajaji national park deputy director and public information officer HK Singh for not facilitating inspection of work by an activist who had sought information about lantana eradication works in the national park.
People for Animals, Uttarakhand member secretary Gauri Maulekhi had sought information on four points regarding lantana eradication in lantana under the Right to Information Act in February this year. Appeals were made first to the national park appellate officer and then the State Information Commission as the PIO failed to provide a satisfactory answer to the RTI query.
Under the Act, Maulekhi had requested a chance to inspect the lantana eradication work undertaken in Rajaji which had been rejected by the PIO and national park deputy director on the grounds that there was no provision for allowing inspections under the RTI Act. Following this the Chief Information Commissioner NS Napalchyal sought an explanation from the PIO and wrote to the principal chief conservator of forests to ensure that department officers were instructed to facilitate inspection of works.
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