Municipal Corporation of Delhi has decided to leverage information and communication technologies to provide efficient, affordable, accountable and transparent municipal services to the people of Delhi. The use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has become so common in our daily life that to ignore its potentially beneficial influence in the area of municipal governance was no longer possible. With this in mind, MCD decided to set up a Department of Information Technology in the Corporation that would not only make IT plans for the Corporation but also oversee and supervise their implementation in a time-bound manner.
MCD embarks on an IT Journey
MCD started its IT journey on 19th February 2003, by launching its website www. mcdonline.gov.in. It adopted an innovative model of implementing it’s IT plans on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) revenue model in order to ensure that neither absence of IT skills in municipal employees nor MCD’s non-existent IT infrastructure come in the way of successful implementation of these plans.
Objectives for MCD e-Governance
The strategies adopted by MCD for ushering in municipal e-governance were based on the belief that objectives of MCD’s e-governance programme are as follows:
a. To bring MCD closer to the people through Citizen Service Points, PC kiosks, telephones and others.
- Anytime-Anywhere government service¾users will decide when, where from and how to interact with MCD (e.g. from home, at work or on the move)
- Provide round the clock services—24 hours a day, 7 days a week through an interactive and dynamic website.
- Set up a modernized municipal service network through increased use of Information and Communication Technologies in all departments and offices.
- Create a digital community – A digital community can foster personal involvement in municipal government by providing people with easier access to information and other resources
Strategies for implementing e-Governance
Keeping pace with the developments that are taking place the world over, MCD decided to encourage public-private partnership for implementing its e-governance initiatives. Strategies adopted for this are as below:
- Prepare MCD’s Master Plan for IT
- Launching an interactive and dynamic website
- Setting up Citizen Service Bureaus
- Digitisation of records of important departments
- Training of municipal staff
- Capacity building in the areas of IT infrastructure, Health, Engineering, Sanitation, Education, Employee Information System, Financial Management and Property Tax Collection System
- Launching of e-tendering and computerized Public Grievances and Redressal (PGR) System to bring transparency.
According to the proposed strategy, the IT Master Plan: 2005 has been prepared by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS, www.tcs.com). MCD has also launched a dynamic website www.mcdonline.gov.in for the providing on-line services of MCD. Apart from this, MCD in partnership with a private IT services company called SARK Systems has opened up 30 Citizen Service Bureaus (CSBs) in different parts of Delhi. Currently, the following services are being provided to citizens through CSBs:
- Registration & issue of Birth & Death Certificates
- Issue/Renewal/Amendment of all types of licenses such as General Trade licenses, Factory licenses, General Health Trade licenses, Tehbazari licenses, Rickshaw Puller licenses etc.
- Collection of property taxes
- Booking of Parks/Community Centers for private function
- Receiving payments through Internet payment gateway.
In addition, a number of departments have undertaken the exercise of complete digitisation of their records. For instance, Birth & Death records pertaining to years 1998, 1999, 2001 has been digitized so that Citizens can take Birth & Death Certificates immediately for the said period. In addition, 350 registered Hospitals (Private & Government) have been provided with the facility of online registration of Births & Deaths. To facilitate the digitisation of historical records, Information Technology Department of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has empanelled Data Entry Service Providers, for a period of two years to provide data entry services, both onsite as well as offsite and will provide Data Entry Operators (DEO) for various departments of MCD. Records of Factory licenses have also been completely digitized.
Administrative Officer – IT Department
MCD Cental Zone Office, New Delhi
“The greatest advantage of these centers is the high level of transparency and efficiency that they offer. Earlier most citizens had to go through an arduously long process for applying and availing government services. Moreover, many of them did not even knew where to get the information for various services on offer.”
Training of Municipal Staff is also undertaken on a priority basis. More than 800 municipal employees have been trained in basic computer training. In order to provide computer training to the doctors and nurses, two more training centers have been set up in Hindu Rao Hospital and Swami Dayanand Hospital in Delhi. 10 computers at each of the 6 Science Centers in Schools have been set up to provide basic computer training to municipal school teachers. A training centre has also been set up at the Ambedkar stadium complex to train contractors and officials on the process of e-tendering. The centre has already trained 150 contractors and 200 MCD officials on use of this system and would soon be expanded to provide training to MCD engineers on usage of engineering department’s applications.
In order to build up the internal IT capacity, MCD has installed 13 IT work stations in each MCD zone and also at the Town Hall. These Workstations consist of 5 computers and two printers. Additionally, these workstations are being provided with Line Printers to support large pay roll printing. Each of these stations is also provided with broadband Internet for high-speed connectivity. These IT work stations are capable of monitoring all the transactions done through CSBs, printing of reports, pay bills and pay slips, creation of database, edition of data and accessing of various core applications of MCD through Internet. In addition, 250 senior officers of MCD have been provided with desktop computers while 134 Municipal Councilors have been given laptop computers. A pair of high-end servers has also been set up for the purpose of testing the applications developed by e-Government Foundation of Bangalore. Along with this, a number of information systems and networks have been developed and deployed within MCD departments for leveraging an IT-enabled work environment. Some of these are – Engineering Department Information System, Health Information System, Employee Information System, Property Tax Information System, Solid Waste Transportation system.
|MCD e-Government Snapshots|
- 23 identified buildings of MCD to be networked through LAN and also Metro networked to Network Operating Center and Data Center of MCD.
- Pay Roll of 1,50,000 employees, along with their Personnel records is getting computerized.
- Property tax system shall be computerized and digital library shall be created to store building/floor layouts, which will all be linked to a GIS System.
- 6 MCD Hospitals are getting internally networked through optical fiber and high-end switches.
- 2500 computers are proposed to be procured and installed even up to JE/Inspector levels with the provision of e-mail facility.
- The working of Engineering and CSE Departments is getting fully computerized.
- Solid waste management and billing of private contractors carrying waste is getting computerized.
- Setting up of Data Center and Network Operating Center has been finalized to process all MCD computerized applications.
- Financial Management System on double entry basis is getting computerized.
- 6 Science Centers are providing basic computer training to MCD schoolteachers.
- All the zones and important offices including computerized workstations have been provided with Broadband Internet connectivity to access PGR system, mcdonline and core applications of MCD.
New e-Government Initiatives
Over the last few months MCD has come up with innovative plans to introduce new e-Government services and to extend/upgrade the existing ones. Some of these initiatives are as follows:
Introduction of Sugam Kendras: MCD is working towards extending the existing Citizen Service Bureaus to all the 134 wards of Delhi. These ward-level centres to be called as Sugam Kendras will cater to various services ranging from collection of electricity bills, water bills employment exchange registration, booking in Delhi tourism buses, payment of Delhi Traffic Police challans etc.
Public Grievance and Redressal System (PGR): The PGR system launched in January 2005 is enabling citizens to register their complaints on-line and track their status on the Net. Citizens shall also be able to register the complaints through letter, telephone or e-mail. MCD higher officials and Councilors shall be able to monitor the complaints in their departments and wards and act accordingly. In addition, this system will also help in developing a ward-wise action plan that will soon be available on the Internet.
E-tendering System: All MCD tenders initially valued over rupees 10 lakh (1 million) shall be processed from indent to placement of order on the new e-tendering system. Since April 2005, Wipro has been working to set up this e-tendering system for MCD. Up till the end of July 2005, 13 tenders have been put through this route for processing. Henceforth, submission of tenders and processing, including preparation of comparative statement shall be done on-line by contractors and officials. In addition, digital signatures are to be used for placement of work order and even concurrence by finance.
Already identified as one of the best practioners of municipal e-Governance in India, MCD is taking long strides of modernisation through efficient use of IT and innovative e-Government tools. In the coming days, MCD promises to deliver the citizens of Delhi with best of services and chart out a developmental path of the city through effective use of IT.