New Delhi: Hours after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia condemned Lt Governor Anil Baijal for “rejecting” the proposal of doorstep delivery of government services, the latter declined it saying he only asked the government to “reconsider” it.
A statement issued by Baijal’s office said: “LG has only advised to reconsider the proposal in its present form and has suggested to consider alternative model to eliminate corruption and improve public service delivery.
It said that the model proposed by the government would introduce another layer of human interface with its attendant complications including “concerns associated with safety and security of women/senior citizens, possibility of corruption, delays, bad behavior, loss of documents, breach of privacy, etc”.
“Service delivery persons would have to undertake ‘unnecessary’ road trips on the already congested Delhi roads adding to the air pollution.
“…the residents of Delhi would have to pay service charges and the people would have to pay facilitation charges,” Baijal said in the statement.
He suggested that digital delivery of services can be the “most effective” tool to eliminate corruption as it removes human interface, minimizes delays and discretion.
“Consider plugging gaps in digital delivery of services from application to delivery stage, enable people to access services online through Internet Kiosks to be set up by unemployed youth,” he said.
Sisodia had attacked the decision, saying: “Huge setback in Delhi government’s efforts to provide good and corruption free governance…LG has taken decision without knowing field reality.”
He said most of these services are already digital, yet there are long queues in offices.
“Despite digitalization, most people still have to run around government offices with documents etc.”
In a series of tweets, Sisodia questioned if the Lt Governor has the “power to express difference of opinion with the elected government on such critical matters of public interest and be able to scuttle such measures”.
“Public hugely suffering because of that.”
The Delhi government had, under the scheme, decided to offer over 40 government services ranging from the grant of water connection to marriage certificate at people’s doorstep.