‘A hue and cry is being made because of the dirty rooms in the Commonwealth Games Village, but no one is concerned about the filthy conditions that we live in,’ said Rajesh Kumar, a slum dweller, at a meeting here Sunday to question the spendings of elected leaders.
The slum dweller from Sangam Vihar in south Delhi was one of the 500 people from over 30 constituencies of Delhi who were present at a public hearing organized by Satark Nagrik Sangathan, (SNS) an NGO, in Malviya Nagar Sunday to promote accountability among elected representatives.
The participants demanded that details of local area development funds provided to elected representatives – MPs, legislators and municipal councillors – be displayed by the government on boards placed in their constituencies.
At the hearing, citizens testified about the importance and relevance of the local area development funds for them. The people discussed the several problems that they were facing in their localities, right from the lack of drinking water to open manholes and power cuts.
Another troubled participant from Malviya Nagar, Rekha, said that despite repeated requests to the member of legislative assembly and councillor highlighting the filthy state of the only public toilet in the slum, the elected representatives always turned them away.
‘They only come to ask for votes and then never meet with us to consult about our needs. We did not even know that they get funds for the development of their constituency,’ she said.
Similar were the views expressed by residents of Sangam Vihar, Dwarka, Munirka and Shahdara.
There is some information about the utilization of development funds on government websites, but this is not easily accessible to the poor as they neither have easy access to the Internet nor can they read English, said Anjali Bhardwaj, founder of SNS.
‘Under Section 4 of the RTI Act, this kind of information has to be provided to people by the government in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public and in the local language,’ she added.
Shailesh Gandhi, central information commissioner, assured he would take up the matter in the Central Information Commission and ensure that details of development funds provided to elected representatives is put up on boards in Hindi in each constituency.
A complaint, signed by over a 1,000 people, was submitted to Gandhi demanding that boards should be put up in each constituency.