Indian Postal Orders (IPOs) each worth Rs 10 are scarcely available at post offices in Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts. People alleged that they are inconvenienced due to the dearth of Rs 10 IPOs while applying for information about status or irregularities in schemes and projects under RTI.
This problem has allegedly been happening over the last several months.
As per reports, IPOs of lower or higher denominations are available, but they are of hardly any use to the people seeking official data under RTI. With Rs 10 IPOs having vanished from post offices in Balasore, people suspected that the short supply of Rs 10 IPOs is nothing but an act of mischief by the government to prevent the RTI activists and people from accessing official information about scams and loopholes in schemes.
Some RTI activists alleged that when people in the western Odisha districts easily get Rs 10 IPOs, the unavailability of such IPOs in the post offices in Balasore remains a mystery. The same is the situation at scores of post offices in Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj.
RTI activists say while applying for official information under RTI, they have to spend more by making treasury challans or buying IPOs of higher denominations.
Sudishna Das, a resident of Jaleswar said, “I have to apply under RTI for some official information. I did rounds of several post offices but did not get Rs 10 IPOs. The IPOs of this denomination are essential for RTI queries.”
Suresh Chandra Panigrahi of Balasore lamented, “In the absence of Rs 10 IPOs, postal staff advise people to buy IPOs worth Rs 1 denomination. In that case, one has to pay more charges. Besides, if you buy more IPOs of lower denominations, you have to do more paperwork.”
RTI activist Prashant Pradhan observed,” Rs 10 IPO was mainly meant for RTI purpose. Now, we have to face a lot of problems due to the short supply of Rs 10 IPOs in coastal pockets.”
However, Ratnaprabha Agasti, head postmaster of Balasore post office,” Until the Rs 10 IPOs are not supplied adequately, people can buy Rs 1 IPOs as an alternative for the time being.”