CIC had directed MoEF to place information about Indira Sagar Polavaram project on the website - PIO: Information could not uploaded as the file size was too big - CIC: upload the records, especially the number & names of villages that face submergence
2. The appellant Mr. D. Suresh Kumar filed a complaint before the commission on 12.6.2015 complained about noncompliance of Commission’s order dated 30.4.2015 in his Second Appeal.
6. After hearing submissions, the appellant did not insist on penalty proceedings, provided the information is furnished to him.
7. Since the Commissioner, appellant, CPIO and PS to Commissioner were knowing Telugu Language, the Commission transacted the proceedings in Telugu with references to documents in English.
8. Appellant submitted that MoEF had not furnished any information to him as per RTI application. He complained that official website of Ministry of Environment & Forests does not have the information as required by Section 4 (1) (b) of RTI Act in the same manner as such information was available regarding other projects. The Commission directs MoEF to place all available information of Polavaram project in their official website as per Section 4 (1) (b) subject to Section 8 so that information requirements are effectively answered because Polavaram was declared as National Project being a very significant for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The Commission also directs PIO to furnish copies relating to Environmental Clearance at first instance, and also when the issue of Environmental Clearance was revisited for Indira Sagar Polavaram project in West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, file notings and correspondences along with minutes of meeting in 2009, copies of letters by the Ministry to State of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh and their response thereof, within one month from the date of receipt of this order.
3. Thus the Commission interalia directed the MoEF to put all available information of Indira Sagar Polavaram Project (ISPP) on its official website. The appellant stated except the Site Clearance, Environmental Clearance and a Compliance Report, the MoEF has not uploaded the Polavaram Project’s information on its website, which he supported with a copy of the snapshot of MoEF’s webpage where Polavaram Project is listed as one of the projects to which Environmental Clearance has been granted.
4. But, on the same page, the records of Polavaram project such as Application Form for Environmental Clearance, Meeting Minutes of EAC/IAA, EIA report, Monitoring Reports, other Compliance Reports, etc., are still not uploaded. He requested for enforcing the compliance of the order of the Commission dated 30.4.2015.
Proceedings Before the Commission:
5 The appellant submitted that even on the date of hearing (23.7.2015), the MoEF has still not uploaded the Polavaram records on its official website.
6. The respondent Public Information Officer Mr. P.V. Subba Rao submitted that all the efforts from Ministry are on to place Polavaram Records on MoEF’s website as soon as possible. He further submitted that after the Hon’ble Commission order, he has personally requested the State Government of Andhra Pradesh to give all the records of Polavaram Project in softcopy, so that they can be uploaded on the website easily. After his request, the state government has provided information in softcopy. But, they could not upload as that file size was too big. He assured the Commission that uploading of the all available information on website would be done within 3 weeks.
7. Though the appellant requested to take stern action against noncompliance, the Commission felt the need to give some more time to the respondent public authority.
8. Accordingly the Commission directs the MoEF to upload the Polavaram Project’s records, especially the number and names of the villages that face submergence due to this project on its website within one month from the date of hearing. Making all records available is very important requirement because the AP Government has to conduct Public Hearings in both Odisha and Chhatisgarh states on the changed dimensions and designs of the ISPP.
9. With the above observations the appeal is disposed off.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: D Suresh Kumar v. M/o Environment, Forests & Climate Change in Case No. CIC/SA/A/2014/001492