New-Horizon Initiatives : Uddipta Ray, Government of Goa

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“Government of Goa through Tourism Department has already set up surveillance cameras on beaches in order to enable monitoring of the tourist in Goa”

Goa has a huge coastal line and prone to natural calamity. What are the disaster management measures being taken to
tackle it?

Fortunately, despite having a long coast-line and being a part of Western Ghat range, no major natural calamity has struck Goa. However, the state has recently put in place the state and District Disaster Management Plans. Since ‘time’ is a critical factor in all disaster related activities, the State has already initiated consultations to introduce IT in three specific areas of management of inventory in the district (to ensure preparedness); flow of information from village to state level (to reduce time-gap and ensure reliability in event of a disaster); and settlement of claims/rehabilitation (to mitigate sufferings). Under the state-owned Goa Broad Band Network (GBBN) Optical Fibre Cables (OFC) have already been laid to provide connectivity to 189 Village Panchayats, 143 Lok Seva Kendras, all talukas and district headquarters with the state portal. GBBN connecting 802 different government offices at various levels will facilitate all disaster related activities.

Fully wired broadband network was launched in Goa early last year. What is the development so far? What are the key learnings?

Government of Goa has launched the Goa Broadband Network (GBBN) on December 27, 2007 to demonstrate the capability of network by way of inaugurating video conferencing facility. The network has reached taluka level and village panchayats covering geographical area of around 750 kilometers with underground Optical Fibre Cables (OFC). The Network will be used as a communication medium for Government to Government (G2G), Government to Business (G2B),  Government to Citizen (G2C) services and other departments.

Goa Broadband Network (GBBN) would help in providing connectivity to the various government departments where the development of software has been undertaken with a focus to deliver 40 different Citizen Centric Services in 1st phase, to people of Goa through Lok Seva Kendras. These Kendras will deliver the G2B and G2C services to the people of Goa.

Major e-Governance projects in the pipeline for the year 2009

  • Surveillance
  • Asset Management
  • Geographical Information System (GIS)
  • IT Knowledge Centre
  • State Portal & State Service Delivery Gateway (SSDG)
  • Cyber Treasury and On-line payment of Government dues
  • Centralised Personal Information System (PIS) for all the Government Employees and Intra-Portal for Government Employees
  • Integrated Border check-posts management
  • Gap Infrastructure Project (last mile connectivity)

Being a new-horizon initiative, Goa has been in the process of learning a lot from the teething troubles and is at present carrying out a series of mid course corrections with  the help of experts so as to make this a more effective and efficient endeavour.

Goa was not a part of the on going Common Service Centres (CSCs) project under NeGP . What are your comments?

Government of Goa has initiated a state-run project named Integrated Information Infrastructure Project comprising of State Data Centre, Single Official Portal and Integrated Citizen Service Centre (ICSC). Since Goa government has already initiated Common State Centres (CSCs) Project, so Goa government was not a part of CSC under NeGP of the Central Government.

Through CSCs project, government has aimed one-stop-shop channel to provide various (Government/Non-Government) services to the citizens. Government of Goa has already planned to set up 208 CSCs across Goa for delivering various G2C, B2C services. Currently, 28 CSCs are operational providing various B2C services. Fifteen of the first forty G2C services of Phase I will be launched shortly, as soon as connectivity to all the CSCs is completed.

Goa is the hub of tourism, how is Information and Communications Technology (ICT) being implemented for fostering security in the state? What are the key initiatives?

A major responsibility of the government is to provide safety and security for its citizens and its assets, especially in this environment of  increased security and terrorism threats in the country. In this regard, the Government of Goa has already planned to build a comprehensive surveillance system for enhancing safety and security of citizens, for which work has already commenced.

Government of Goa through Tourism Department has already set up surveillance cameras on beaches in order to enable monitoring of the tourists in Goa. Also, Government of Goa is in process of expanding surveillance system across the state, starting with the integrated border check-posts.  

Nilakshi Barooah

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