thehindu (source) :
Resident associations demand restoration of data on various projects
The Chennai Corporation on Monday removed the ‘contractor abstract report’ from its website, www.chennaicorporation. gov.in.
Residents’ associations and non-governmental organistions, who had been compiling the data to expose a scam, submitted a petition to senior officials of the civic body on Monday, demanding restoration of the data that was provided online by Indian Administrative Service officials to prevent corrupt practices.
The residents’ association and NGOs had raised the issue of corruption, shoddy work on civic infrastructure and maladministration at a meeting on Saturday in Ramapuram, and claimed that they compiled data from the Corporation website to expose a scam in road re-laying.
“We have submitted a petition to the Chennai Corporation Commissioner, requesting him to take action against the official responsible for removing the data. Residents want to know all aspects of a civic project in their neighbourhood,” said a resident.
Participants at the meeting organised near Arasamaram junction in Ramapuram pointed to a study by residents and NGOs on the expenditure of ₹350 crore on re-laying of bus routes in the past two years, claiming that they were planning to expose a link between cartels of Chennai Corporation contractors and a Minister, using data collected from the Chennai Corporation.
IAS officer’s initiative
A few years ago, an IAS officer who headed the Chennai Corporation Works Department took the an initiative to provide all information online to residents to improve transparency in civic project implementation. The information included the contractor’s name, unique code for contractors, total work taken up, total value of work, names of the roads re-laid, length of the roads and total payment released to the contractor after completion of the road project.
Residents’ association representatives and NGOs in the letter submitted on Monday to Chennai Corporation Commissioner D.Kathikeyan said they were “shocked at the way the Corporation had deleted details of bus route road contractors and their list of work as well as the entire list of work in each zone from the the Corporation website suddenly.”
The residents and NGOs have demanded that the Chennai Corporation Commissioner restore the entire set of data immediately and initiate a probe against those responsible for deleting the data from the website.