Govt info is sometimes bunch of lies: Gadgil

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 24 January 2014 21:13 IST

Padmabhushan Dr Madhav Gadgil has charged the government authorities of telling bunch of lies by supplying either false information or no information when asked under Right to Information Act.

Dr Gadgil,, who headed the panel on Western Ghats, also made a startling revealation that central authorities planned excuses to deny the report to the public under Right to Information Act.

He was speaking at a session of the 2nd All Goa Rural RTI Convention held in Siolim in Goa, on RTI and Good Governance.

Dr Gadgil was appointed when Jairam Ramesh was the union environment and forest minister, to study and recommend how to protect the Western Ghats.

While the report was submitted, the ministry was handed over to Jayanthi

“The minister and secretary discussed in my presence what excuses they should give to deny the report under RTI”, he disclosed.

He also appealed the RTI activists to be vigilant and not blindly trust the information provided by the authorities as sometimes either they deny information or feed false data.

“The government data is always not authentic. Sometimes they simply tell you bunch of lies”, said India’s leading environmentalist, who has even worked as an advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Similarly, he said, there are no records maintained regarding Goa’s mining industry, may it be the direct and indirect employment generation, how many and in what way people are dependent on mining, the water table of Goa and even the number of springs.

“In Rivona (mining village), they said there are no springs, but the agriculture department later located 35 springs. The data is manipulated as and when they want”, Dr Gadgil alleged.

The Sarsika Tiger Reserve near New Delhi claimed to be having 23 tigers when it had no tiger left. Contrary to this, Goa’s Western Ghat belt is shown with no tigers when in reality at least four to five tigers are located by the people, observed Gadgil.

Stating that the records are either not maintained or twisted deliberately, the simpleton environment scholar appealed to the RTI activists to ask the Public Authorities why no records are maintained and what kind of records are maintained.

He also countered mis-propaganda that Dr Madhav Gadgil is against development, stating that he was fully supporting economic development of India.

“But the economic development should be based on the rule of law and democratic principles and not by blatantly violating it”, he said.

To prove his point, Dr Gadgil cited example of Germany, which has developed healthiest economy while being equally sensitive to ecological balance. 

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