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Telangana: RTI activist says officials demanded Rs 20 lakh for rainfall info

ANI  |  General News 

In a shocking incident, an RTI activist was allegedly asked by authorities to pay over Rs 20 lakh in return for information about rainfall data of Nizamabad district of the state.

The RTI Activist, Serupally Rajesh, had filed a Right to Information (RTI) application seeking automatic weather station (AWS) wise rainfall data of the district for the purpose of a survey.

"I filed an RTI in the month of June asking the Nizamabad Chief Planning Officer (CPO) to provide the rainfall data of Nizamabad district reported in AWS from June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019," Rajesh told ANI.

In response to the activist's RTI application, Public Information Officer of the Telangana State Development Planning Society (TSDPS) reportedly asked him to submit Rs 20,31, 960 to provide the information.

"I was doing a survey on climate change pattern to see how farmers can be benefitted. I approached Nizamabad Chief Planning Officer in this regard for rainfall data from June 1, 2018, to May 31, 2019. I was asked to approach the Statistics Department in Telangana Secretariat, who also refused to provide the information," Rajesh said.

"TSDPS will provide the weather data of AWSs on payment of Data charges at Rs 3,500 per month per station," the purported letter said summing up the charges at Rs 17,22,000 (charge) and Rs 3,09,960 (GST).

"I thought that the data will be provided to me, but I was shocked after getting that response. I have filed many RTIs before. The concerned authorities never charge GST for providing info and this is the first time ever I have been asked to pay amount including GST," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 17 2019. 18:46 IST