IT brings Delhi govt services at citizen’s doorsteps

Once the govt’s various e-initiatives are integrated, residents will have a single window for all services

samirsachdeva

Samir Sachdeva | December 23, 2011


Citizen Service Bureau, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi
Citizen Service Bureau, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi

It took Ravinder Tiwari just five minutes at the citizen service bureau (CSB) in Lajpat Nagar to get the death certificate of a relative. The details of deaths are updated in the database by the hospitals or select cremation grounds and a person needs to pay '10 to obtain death certificate from a CSB.

However, Sameer Usmani, father of a newborn, had to go through a two-step process for getting the birth certificate of his child. The process of issuing a birth certificate is a little longer. Even though hospitals update the database with the name of parents, the name of the newborn has to be added at a later stage.

Apart from issuance of birth/death certificates, CSBs deliver many other citizen services of the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD), which include park booking, community hall booking, accepting RTI requests, issuance of health trade licences, issuance of veterinary trade licences, issuance of trade/storage licences, issuance of tonga cart licences, street vending permits and depositing of fines and penalties.
The MCD-run CSBs started their services on February 19, 2003 with the support of consortium of ECIL & Sark Systems Ltd. Presently, these CSBs are managed by IT firm, Tech Mahindra.

Dr RC Patnaik, director (IT), MCD, says, “The effort is to make all services available at the citizen’s doorstep. For this, we are following two models: through the website, www.mcdonline.gov.in, and for people who are not tech-savvy, through CSBs. The current number of CSBs is 16 (four ICSBs) and we have plans to expand.”

Patnaik adds, “The IT system has given us lot of control. Sitting in office, we can track all transactions at a given CSB. We can know how many birth certificates were issued today or the status of booking of a community centre or a park.”

After the enactment of the Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time-Bound Delivery of Services) Act, 2011 on September 15, the MCD has signed the electronic service level agreement (e-SLA) for at least six services, following which services like park booking, hall booking, issuance of death/birth certificates, health trade licence, general trade licence and factory licence are monitored electronically. Not only the MCD services, the services of New Delhi municipal council (NDMC), Delhi government and Delhi police have been added to the e-SLA framework.

Deepak Virmani, additional secretary in the IT department of Delhi government, says, “Under the project, a centralised e-governance platform has been built to monitor adherence to service levels by different departments. At this stage, 22 government-to-citizen (G2C) services are monitored under the project. Another set of 40 services have been identified like health, pharmacy, weights & measures, etc, to be monitored as part of the project.”

Similarly, the Delhi government launched the Jeevan project in February 2009 with 3i Infotech as a private partner to facilitate delivery of services to residents. As of now, there are over 520 Jeevan centres across Delhi and over 106 services delivered through these centres. The key services offered by these centres are payment of DJB, MTNL, BSES and NDPL bills, registration under the Shops and Establishment Act, registration and renewal of candidature in employment exchange, application for issuance of various certificates, application for new connections, application for various licences, application for EPFO claims and scholarship applications.

Payment at Jeevan centres can be made in cash or through cheque, debit or credit card. The centres remain open on all days, except for the three national holidays. Moreover, these centres are a boon for senior citizens, who can make all payments under one roof and are not made to make several rounds for a single transaction.

Ajay Kumar Singla, director, Jeevan Project, says, “The real success of the project will begin when the concept of ‘green bill’ will evolve. This green bill will integrate all the bills (water, electricity, phone, mobiles, etc) into one integrated bill and the citizen will have only one bill to be submitted to the government for all services.”

Another initiative of the Delhi government towards facilitation of citizen services using IT is Mission Convergence or Samajik Suvidha. This initiative is the convergence of ideas, processes, and of the delivery system. The system is essentially focused on delivery of social services. Under the programme, the state government invited non-government organisations (NGOs) to manage gender resource centres (GRCs) in various localities of Delhi. These GRCs helped the government to reach out to people and acted as a single window for information and facilitation of the welfare services to the vulnerable.

The state government has now e-enabled various public services in social sector under the project. It has created common database of beneficiaries under all schemes which will be accessible to all departments, thereby plugging leakages in the system, increasing speed of delivery and avoiding duplication of effort. Over 124 GRCs have been integrated by a common application and a central database. The system integration application for streamlining social services delivery was launched in February. The effort is to electronically interlink departments like women and child welfare, social welfare, food and civil supplies and SC/ST welfare with the GRCs. Through the initiative, the government plans to club many welfare schemes.
Another initiative to improve urban governance is the Delhi geospatial project. The project envisaged by the Delhi government’s information technology department is aimed at improving urban planning. Under the initiative, the underground and over-ground utilities of the state have been digitally mapped using geospatial technology.

Virmani says, “The department is implementing the 3D global information system (GIS) project which is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country. The state has mapped all over-ground and underground facilities in the state. To implement the project, the state has passed the Geospatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act, 2011. The law has been notified but the date on which it will be implemented is pending notification. The rules under the law have been framed and the approval of same from the competent authority is in process. As per the law, the utilisation of the data infrastructure and its update have been made compulsory for 30 departments, like DDA, MCD, DJB, NDMC, MTNL and DMRC. Connectivity of 4 to 10 mpbs (upgradable to 100 mpbs) has been given to the participating departments and an appellate has also been notified to resolve disputes.”

Apart from a range of citizen-centric initiatives like CSBs, Jeevan, geospatial project, Mission Convergence and e-SLA, the state has established an online portal, delhi.gov.in, which links all the departments of the state government. However, in these distributed roles, the citizens, businesses and other stakeholders look forward to a single window from the government for all G2C services. And, therefore, the state has to integrate these multiple initiatives into one.

 

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