CHENNAI: The Right to Information (RTI) portal was launched to allow citizens get concise and precise reply to their query. Such is the might of the portal that ignorance of a Thiruvottiyur resident’s query, and fear of contempt proceedings by the state Information Commission forced the state Food Safety Department (FSD) to send a detailed reply whose documents weighed 5 kg. This is probably the lengthiest RTI reply generated in Tamil Nadu.
M Kasimayan, a motor mechanic, had lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Control Administration department in July 2016 about poor quality rice at a private departmental store in his neighbourhood. With no action taken, he filed another RTI petition in August 2016. Of his seven questions, only three were answered.
Kasimayan again wrote to the state Information Commission this year. Fearing the wrath of the commission, Public Information Officer of FSD, C Balasubramanian, finally sent a reply. However, he goofed up by sending details on follow-ups of other complaints.