Today smart marketing comes through one-stop shop conveniences like Just Dial. Thanks to the new Smart City project of the Government of India, cities too have to market themselves to the residents. Hence, one of the key enablers of Smart City is to provide a Citizen Connect with the Government, using ICT, writes Dr Shalini Rajneesh, IAS, Principal Secretary, Government of Karnataka
In most of our cities, besides offering municipal services, the government also offers bus/metro services, healthcare, education, power and employment, etc. To effectively engage citizens, cities have to develop a web and mobile-based platform that can act as one-stop interaction window, for one and all.
Broadly speaking, citizen engagement can be divided into following components:
Integrated Public Service Delivery Portal (ISDP): ISDP is a gateway for receiving, processing and delivering all service requests, and payment, if required, for availing all services delivered by municipal bodies, electricity companies, water supply bodies and services offered at state level, like Trade Tax Registrations, etc. Citizens can create an online account here and keep their documents on the lines of Digital Locker. Security features like Digital Signature, Aadhar ID, etc., have to be a part of this system.
Public Grievances Portal: This portal should allow citizens to file all complaints across different departments and organisations.
Mobile Apps: Lot many services can be asked for on mobile – right from pot hole repairs, garbage, no water supply, no power, illegal parking, etc. Citizens should be able to access services through mobile as well as make payments through mobile payment gateways.
Survey/Feedback/City Priorities Portal: City will be able to list the projects, which it wants to undertake, like widening of roads, constructions of parks, hospitals, etc., based on citizens’ vote on their priorities. On this portal, city can also list out different government schemes as a base for participatory municipal budgeting.
City/Alert Notifications Systems: In this sub-system, citizens will be able to register themselves for various kinds of events of their interest – like trade fairs, exhibitions, theatre performances, traffic condition, etc. SMS and e-mail alerts will be sent by this IT platform to citizens as per their interest. This system can also be used for disaster warning and even environment pollution-related alerts.
Govt Services Performance Rating Portal: This system will rate different services and government departments/PSUs on the basis of effective service delivery, grievances filed and citizen feedback. Cities may also be ranked on the basis of wards/sectors-level performance.City/Alert Notifications Systems: In this sub-system, citizens will be able to register themselves for various kinds of events of their interest – like trade fairs, exhibitions, theatre performances, traffic condition, etc. SMS and e-mail alerts will be sent by this IT platform to citizens as per their interest. This system can also be used for disaster warning and even environment pollution-related alerts.
Service Delivery through CyberCafes and Service Kiosks: To bridge the digital divide and to provide hassle- and corruption-free city services, service requests and delivery should also be taken from cybercafes and service kiosks.
Social Media: Cities should have Facebook and Twitter presence and an effective policy for managing the engagement of citizens on these social media platforms.
(The author is woman IAS Topper of 1989 batch and her work has won Prime Minister Award, CAPAM Award and National e-Governance Award (www.shalinirajneesh. org). She has extensive experience in service delivery under project ‘Sakala’ of the Government of Karnataka. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.).