July 2015

Moving from Office to e-Office

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The Mussorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA) takes pride in becoming the country’s first development authority to have made building plan process completely online and is first in Uttarakhand to have introduced ERP programme to make citizens’ lives better. MDDA Vice Chairman, Dr R Meenakshi Sundaram, is striving to make his office a complete e-Office so that people don’t need to turn up to MDDA every time they want services from the government. Excerpts from an interview with Vishwas Dass of Elets News Network (ENN)

What kind of IT initiatives have been undertaken by you in the MDDA making the life of citizens easier?

Dr R Meenakshi Sundaram MDDA Vice Chairman

Dr R Meenakshi Sundaram
MDDA Vice Chairman

We have made the building plan approval a complete online process which enables public to apply for their plans and get it online without wasting their time over visiting MDDA. The online process has helped the MDDA staff as well. I want to make the MDDA a complete e-office in another few years to strengthen citizen-government interaction.

Earlier, my staff members were sceptical and apprehensive of handling of forged documents to get plan approvals. However, I have inculcated a sense of confidence in my subordinates and successfully rolled out the service. I am really glad to say that not even a single forged case has been surfaced in the last two years when the service was unveiled by us. Plan approvals are delivered online and the process is a boon for those living outside the State and want to apply for building plan approval.

How do you ensure that the applicants get updated about their building plan approval status?

There are a lot of stages before someone’s building plan is approved by the MDDA. The applicant is receiving SMS alerts in every stage and if there is something wrong s(he) will be updated through both the SMS and e-mail alerts.

What are the other online projects?

The government has introduced one time settlement scheme through which those deviating from minor building bylaws can apply online for compounding fee to regularise their deviations. In this case, the applicant himself reveals his/her deviation and pay the compounding fee online according to the norms. If we find something wrong in the building plan of applicant, we take stern action against empanelled architect and even revoke his/her licence to prevent such activities.

Besides, we are also going to make Nazul government land lease process online

ALL MDDA files can’t be digitised… but we are digitising crucial building plan approval related files so that if somebody asks for his map approval documents even after hundred years, it can be made available

Are you digitising government files to keep them safe in case paper-made files are destroyed in some mishap?

All the files can’t be digitised because there are lakhs of files with MDDA. However, we are digitising crucial building plan approval related files so that if somebody asks for his map approval documents even after hundred years, it can be made available.

Do you have plan to unveil a mobile app through which people could lodge their grievances and avail other services, too?

As of now, there is no plan of launching any mobile app, as our web-based ERP programme is already helping people to get online services. We would be unveiling a mobile app soon. mGovernance services are already in place in a sense that people are getting SMS alerts about their application status.

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