The State Government of Himachal Pradesh in India has floated request for proposal (RFP) for setting up 3361 Common Service Centers (CSC) called 'Gram Sugams' in all Panchayats of the state. The Gram Sugams are proposed to be set up in public private partnership as an extension of the district level e-Governance projects. Successful implementation of the project will also lead to creation of more than 3500 jobs across the state and is expected to give a fillip to IT and IT enabled services across the state .
The centres would be connected through the Himachal State Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN) up to the block, division and state headquarter level, so that all 'Government to Citizen' services are made available at the Panchayat level and the person does not have to make several rounds to various government offices. The centres will provide several facilities for obtaining driving license, cast certificate, revenue records, telephone and electricity bill payments among other things within the villages, saving a lot of travel time and cost of the villagers.
The state area for this project is divided into three divisions, Shimla, Mandi and Kangra. The projects for all three divisions would be allotted through competitive bidding. In Shimla division 955 centres, 1293 centres in Kangra and 1113 centres will come up in Mandi division. Last date for submission of the bids, which are open to private companies and even Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) is March 10, 2008 after which the projects are expected to be allotted in April. The Gram Sugams will have to be rolled out within nine months from the date of allotment