HMDA officials know nothing about HMDA!
This could be a classic case of government officials’ apathy. The officials of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) have formally acknowledged that they have no proper data of their own activity and showed that all was not well with the planning body.
Hyderabad: This could be a classic case of government officials’ apathy. The officials of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) have formally acknowledged that they have no proper data of their own activity and showed that all was not well with the planning body. The poor maintenance of information pertaining to planning and accounts is resulting in a poor response from the HMDA officials to the RTI applications.
A series of RTI applications filed by The Hans India exposed HMDA’s lackluster attitude. TheRTI applications did not receive any relevant answers. It was revealed that officials were unable to provide the desired information due to lack of maintenance of records. Though authorities have claimed that they have started digitization of data, most of the information is still unavailable.
For instance, preparation of the annual report which is mandated by Chapter 7 - Finance, Accounts, Budget and Audit of Section 44 HMDA Act has never been maintained or prepared, according to the reply by authorities to an RTI query. When an RTI application was filed seeking annual report, the accounts section of HMDA issued a statement showing income and expenditure. Documents pertaining to the Department of Planning are not maintained in a specific format as per the rule book.
According to an RTI query, data pertaining to the department, which was supposed to be maintained according to the HMDA Act, was also not being maintained properly. For example, the HMDA officials do not have basic details like employment generation by an industrial unit within HMDA.
Likewise, important documents in Heritage Conservation Cell, the statement for a number of applications for change of land use applications received and revenue details, the statement of arrears of educational institution permissions and industries and the statement on the number of Outer Ring Road land-losers to whom the cash compensation was offered was not been maintained properly.
Officials are also clueless about important bank transactions. The authority has mortgaged a land for a loan of Rs 850 crore with HUDCO and Indian Bank but claimed that they do not have any relevant statements on the payment of installments. In reply to an RTI application that sought transaction details of the interest amount paid to these banks, the officials issued the overall money paid without any payment statements.
Meanwhile, the first appellant authorities for various sub departments admitted to the fact that they were helpless in providing relevant information. HMDA Planning Director II G Narender was reluctant to answer queries on why there was no proper record in his department.
Chief Accounts Officer Md Anwar Ahmed said that since the contractual staff was removed, they were facing problems in giving replies to RTI applications. “Most of the data was manually recorded, which the new staff is unaware,” he said. On questioning about the non-maintenance of cash-compensated beneficiary details in ORR Rehabilitation Cell, Special Grade Deputy Collector A Krishna said that they have not prepared any such statement stating that such segregation of details was not possible.