The State government had launched the beta version of the RTI portal www.onlinerti.tn.gov.in for the public to file the petition online.
During the trial stage, RTI petitions could be filed only to the Personnel and Administrative Reforms (P&AR) department at the Secretariat making use of the software already available with the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
“The state government has finally woken up to the long-pending demand to allow online filing of the petition. But when I tried to file a petition online to the P&AR department, it failed at the payment gateway. The government should rectify it at the earliest and launch a full-fledged portal without any further delay,” said RTI activist V Gopalakrishnan.
He wondered why the state government decided to take a long route to launch the RTI portal after undertaking trial and pilot runs of the beta version of the online facility. “Since we are using the time-tested software of the NIC, which is also being used by the Centre and several other states for the online filing of the RTI petition, the Tamil Nadu government should not delay the launch of the full-fledged website further,” he noted.
Sources in the P&AR department said there were some glitches in the software in accepting the payment. “We are working on it,” said sources, adding: “It’s not about the portal alone. The nodal and public information officers should be trained before launching the online facility fully.”
It was on April 29 that the department of P&AR issued an order on the launch of the website stating that the facility of online filing of petitions under section 6(1) and First Appeals under section 19(1) of the RTI Act will be rolled out in tune with the announcement in the Assembly on March 17. After the trial run of the software with the P&AR department, a pilot run will be conducted in a major department such as school education, which has a wide penetration, it had said.