HYDERABAD: The implementation of ‘The Right to Services’ Act for holding government officials accountable and to ensure time-bound delivery of public services to citizens is yet to take-off in Telangana. Although this was promised when the state was created, it remains only on paper even as 18 states, including Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra have been implementing the Act.
It was back in 2016 that people heard about this from CM K. Chandrashekar Rao and then finance minister, Etala Rajendar.
“This Act contains statutory laws and provisions to ensure time-bound delivery of public services to citizens of India. It also defines the mechanism to punish delinquent public officers if they fail to deliver the requested service within a stipulated time,” says B.V. Seshagiri, an advocate and socio-political activist, who is running a campaign in favour of the Act.
“There was talk of a citizens’ charter to bring in transparency into administration by including different kinds of services and penalisation of officials in case of delay. The government rather than implementing this has brought in ambiguity by not even putting GOs in public domain,” said VC of Forum for Good Governance, V.B.J. Chelikani Rao.
The Act was adopted by the NDA government after it was piloted by the earlier UPA government. Linked to the centralised mechanism, public grievances are received on the Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal.
Last year, the Union government further reduced the maximum period for resolving the public grievance from 45 to 30 days and officials got less time for getting penalised.
Activists are also running an online campaign while batting for legislation of the Act in the State.
“In Telangana, issues like ‘reforms in revenue’ have brought in more scope for corruption and hardships to the general public. If the Services Act is implemented the officials will be forced to resolve the matter within a given time. We are getting good response for our campaign and we hope that the state government will bring in legislation for implementation of this Act in the monsoon session” hoped Seshagiri.