BESCOM Doesn’t Even Reply to RTI Applications!

Fed up of the frequent and unscheduled powercuts at odd hours in March this year, I finally lost my patience and decided to file a RTI application to understand why exactly there were so many powercuts throughout the day, what BESCOM was doing about it, and why they could not at least stick to a schedule when resorting to load shedding.

Powercuts are frustrating in any case, but more so when they happen several times a day, sometimes even for just a second! But the worst clearly is having extended powercuts late at night, say at 2 or 3 am. Clearly BESCOM knows how to punish its poor subscribers!

BESCOM HT pylon

So I filed a RTI application in June 2011, the contents of which are pasted below:

Application under the Right To Information Act, 2005

1. Full Name of the Applicant: Vijay Padiyar
2. Address: <Removed>
3. Details of the document/ Inspection/ Samples required:

Sub: Details on frequent powercuts in BESCOM S11 subdivision

Despite the repeated public assurances of Karnataka Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje assuring citizens that there would be no powercuts this summer, citizens of HSR Layout have been suffering on account of frequent powercuts on a daily basis.

I therefore seek answers to the following questions from BESCOM:

1. Please provide a datewise list of number of powercuts in S11 subdivision of BESCOM, since March 1, 2011 till date. For every powercut, please provide the time and duration of outage and also reason for outage.

2. Please provide reason for frequent power outage between 11 PM and 6 AM in S11 subdivision since March 1, 2011.

3. Please give list of steps being taken to avoid powercuts between 6 PM and 6 AM in S11 subdivision.

4. Year to which the above pertains: 2011

5. Designation and Address of the Public Information Officer from whom the information is required:

Public Information Officer,
C/O Chief Engineer(Ele)
BMAZ, BESCOM, CFC Building, 3rd floor
Nrupathunga road, opp to RBI Office,
Bangalore – 560001
Phone No: 22113868

Find attached Indian Postal Order Number:Β 98E 256059 dated: 8/4/2011

Place: Bangalore

Date: 3/6/2011

Signature of the Applicant: <Signed>

The application was sent via Speed Post on June 3, 2011 (tracking no. EN561597152IN) and received by the PIO of BESCOM on June 6, 2011.

As per the RTI rules, any RTI application is supposed to be responded to within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application.Β  So I waited till July 6, but I did not receive any response whatsoever. I thought of waiting a couple of days more, but still no response at all. Absolutely shocking!



This is what the rampant corruption has done to the administration and institutions in Karnataka, where agencies are now not even bothered to respond even when constitutionally mandated to do so!

I have now filed a First Appeal with the First Appellate Authority of BESCOM, the contents of which are pasted below:

First Appeal under the Right To Information Act, 2005

To,
The First Appellate Authority under RTI Act
C/o Director (Technical),
Corporate Office, Block-I, BESCOM, K.R.Circle,
Bangalore – 560001
Phone No. 22354926

Sir,
As I am aggrieved by the lack of response of Public Information Officer, BESCOM, to my RTI application, I hereby file this First Appeal for your kind decision.

1. Details of applicant
1.1 Full Name: Vijay Padiyar
1.2. Full Address: <Removed>

2. Details of CPIO
2.1 Name/Designation: Chief Engineer (Ele)
2.2 Full Address: BMAZ, BESCOM, CFC Building, 3rd floor
Nrupathunga road, opp to RBI Office, Bangalore – 560001
Phone No: 22113868
2.3 Name of Public Authority: BESCOM

3. Details of RTI application to CPIO
3.1 Date of Application: 9/5/2011
3.2 Mailed on: 3/6/2011 (by Speed Post no. EN561597152IN)
3.3 Date of receipt by CPIO: 6/6/2011

4. Particulars of payment of filing fee
Paid Rs.10/- by Postal Order No. 98E 256059
Dated: 8/4/2011

5. Details of information sought: Details on frequent powercuts in BESCOM S11 subdivision

1. Please provide a date wise list of number of power cuts in S11 subdivision of BESCOM, since March 1, 2011 till date. For every power cut, please provide the time and duration of outage and also reason for outage.
2. Please provide reason for frequent power outage between 11 PM and 6 AM in S11 subdivision since March 1, 2011.

3. Please give list of steps being taken to avoid power cuts between 6 PM and 6 AM in S11 subdivision.

6. Particulars of Decision of CPIO: No reply till date

7. Personal Presence at hearing: Yes

8. Enclosures: Original RTI application attached.
Postal Order Number: 98E 256059
Speed post number: EN561597152IN
Delivery details can be checked at: http://services.ptcmysore.gov.in/Speednettracking/login.aspx

9. Declaration
I hereby state that the information and particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. I also declare that this matter is not previously filed with any information commission nor is pending with any Court or tribunal or authority.

Place: Bangalore

Date: 20/07/2011

Signature of the Applicant: <Signed>

Let’s see if this is any more helpful. Although given the fact that there are several cases pending with the RTI Appellate Authority, it could be several months at least before my case comes up for hearing.



UPDATE: Response after filing First Appeal

About two weeks after filing the First Appeal, I received a telephonic call from the AE of BESCOM, S11 Division. He said that he would be sending the response to my RTI application via email. The same day, I received the email from him with the response attached. The response can be downloaded here. Although, it must be said, it is not a satisfactory response in the sense that it does not answer all the questions I asked comprehensively.


Signature

5 Comments

  1. SureshSuresh10-17-2012

    Hi Vijay,

    I want to file an RTI against BESCOM in Maruthi nagar, madiwala where they collect bills. The problem is they close everyday at different times in evening and they said they have the power to close any time during the day. I want to know how come they can close it anytime during working hours and other operational details and employees they have etc by filing RTI, Please guide me. We are really facing many problems in this area due to this

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar10-17-2012

      All the details to file RTI are given here. You may use the same letter format as me and send to the same PIO. Poster order must be in favor of “Chief Engineer, BMAZ, BESCOM.”

  2. KaramKaram08-27-2012

    Hi Vijay,

    Need to file an RTI with BESCOM. Can you please let me know what goes into the “Payee Name” for the Indian Postal Order?
    Have been searching for last 3 hours but no information is there in either BESCOM site or any other site.

    • Vijay PadiyarVijay Padiyar08-29-2012

      You can draw postal order in favor of “Chief Engineer, BMAZ, BESCOM.”

      • Aashish VaghelaAashish Vaghela05-08-2016

        Hi Vijay, Your RTI was in 2011. This is 2016. Still no improvement. Condition is still the same. Any new suggestions, as even I was thinking of filing an RTI to expose BESCOM and its inefficiency.

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