HOPEFUL: Given the sad state of affairs at most government departments, the scheme proposed by AAP will be wildly popular if properly implemented
The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government is again at loggerheads with the capital’s Lieutenant-Governor, Anil Baijal — this time over the proposal of doorstep delivery of 40 public services
By Special Correspondent
WHAT if getting your driving licence or changes made in a registration certificate becomes as easy as pizza delivery at home? You call a given number, a representative visits your home at a convenient time of your choosing and the process of getting the service starts from there. You don’t need to skip office or college to queue up at government offices for small changes to be made in official documents. So far, such kind of smooth functioning has remained a dream for Dilliwallahs.
On November 16, Kejriwal’s cabinet in a “historic decision” approved the proposal for delivery of 40 services at people’s doorstep. The move was to make public services more accessible and reduce the burden on citizens. The idea was to provide services beyond the government office counter, at the citizen’s residence, through a chain of mobile sahayaks or representatives. The scheme included services pertaining to driving licences, availing of caste certificate, new water connection, old-age pension, widow pension, and updation of BPL ration (AAY) cardholders.
One just had to make a request to the call centre in order to pre-schedule a visit – even for holidays – at a pre-fixed facilitation fee. The charges of services were yet to be announced.
Like physical documents required for a post-paid SIM card at home are collected and submitted by company representatives from customers’ homes, the same was proposed to be done through the mobile sahayaks. According to the proposal, the representatives would have deposited such documents with the department concerned.
The Delhi government had stated that “approximately 25 lakh transactions are held every year” to avail these 40 services. “Each transaction takes around four visits to the office concerned by the applicant,” it said.
The government was planning that a “minimum 30-35 more services would be added to the scheme every 30 days from the date of rollout, till all services are covered”.
However the scheme ran into a roadblock when the lieutenant governor of Delhi (L-G) Anil Baijal returned the proposal saying it has implications for safety and security of women and senior citizens, possibility of corruption, bad behaviour, breach of privacy, loss of documents, etc. and adds unnecessary expenditure for the government and the people
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Shri Manish Sisodia gave a point wise reply to the issues raised. Briefing the media along with his cabinet colleague and IT minister Mr Kailash Gahlot, the Deputy CM said he had been “extremely saddened” after reading the noting of the hon’ble Lieutenant Governor on doorstep deliveries of services scheme.
“I am unable to understand why the hon’ble LG has a problem with residents of Delhi getting delivery of services at their doorstep ? The basic question which arises is that should a selected LG have the power to reject a major decision of the elected government ?,” Mr Sisodia asked.
In the age of digital delivery of services, doorstep delivery is not required.
Response – The Deputy Chief Minister said, Hon’ble LG is saying digital delivery of services is important, but we think we need to go far ahead of it. Merely installing a computer at the office or residence does not ensure digital delivery. This scheme, doorstep delivery of services, is the best way to ensure digital delivery. In fact this is Super Digital Delivery.
Out of the 40 services included in the service as of now, 35 are already online.
Response – Out of the 40 services included at this point in the scheme, 35 are already online and providing digital delivery. But still, on an average 25-lakh people visit the government offices for these 40 services annually.
The gap in the digital delivery needs to be bridged rather than starting doorstep delivery of services.
Response – We are starting this scheme to fill this gap.
Making Kiosks for services would be a good idea in place of delivering services at doorstep.
Response – Kiosk system has failed throughout the country. The last government in Delhi introduced the Kiosk system, but it failed miserably and corruption also went up.
Doorstep delivery of services is a security threat.
Response – How is Doorstep Delivery threat to safety & security? Then the LPG gas delivery, pizza delivery, LIC agent, postman etc reaching your house for services are also security threats. E-Commerce is spreading globally, but our Hon’ble LG says don’t do it. That means go to the post office to collect your letters, go to the gas agency to collect your LPG cylinder and so on.
This will give rise to corruption.
Response – People visiting government offices are made to stand in long queues, they go to touts to get their job done by giving bribes. This project will put an end to it. In Doorstep Delivery executive will come to your place and delivery services at your time and day of convenience. There will be a 100% feedback system to check corruption and quality of services.
It will delay the delivery of services.
Response – This system will be super quick. The executive will visit your place on a phone call and will provide the services.
Fear of applicants losing documents in the process.
Response – There is no fear of documents going missing as the executive will visit your place, scan the documents and upload it then and there.
Executives visiting to deliver services would add to traffic in the city and increase pollution.
Response – The point of increase in pollution due to Doorstep Delivery is devoid of any merit. [It’s better for one sahayak to call on each applicant once, perhaps combining trips, rather than for each of the applicants to make four trips to the relevant government centre]
Fees for the services would be a burden on people of Delhi.
Response – As far as the issue of financial burden on beneficiaries is concerned, a survey done by the transport and revenue department makes it clear that the nominal amount charged by the executive for the delivery of service would be much lower than what people actually spend now on visiting government offices once. The survey says that one visit to the government costs them somewhere between `100 to `1000 depending on the distance and mode of transport.