Delivering Better Public Services Using IT

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D Jayaraj Kennedy

Introduction of Information Technology in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has set new dimensions to provide quick government services to the citizens of Hyderabad, says, D Jayaraj Kennedy, Additional Municipal Commissioner – IT, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).

You handle crucial portfolio for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Apprise us on the latest developments – within your department? Could you elaborate the functions of your department.
The IT wing of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has undergone through a rapid evolution over the past few years and constantly made attempts to innovate and upgrade on new technology and simplification of work flow to ensure transparency and better citizen service. MyGHMC mobile app is one of the biggest initiatives as the app allows citizens to register grievances with one tap on the mobile screen, to know their dues and pay property tax and trade license fee using online payment gateway, and download their birth and death certificates which are already registered.

Besides, we also have launched “Dial 100” for receiving emergency calls pertaining to GHMC during disaster or natural calamities. Deployment of swiping machines in 19 Citizen Service Centers of GHMC to encourage cashless transactions through debit and credit cards and launching of Aadhaar linked bio-metric attendance system for capturing the attendance of sanitary workers of GHMC are couple of other initiatives. Further, we are also working on locating the public toilets on Google Maps for the convenience of citizens and improving sanitation. For Geo-tagging and Geo-fencing of open spaces of GHMC, a dashboard is developed and integration with Development Permission Management System (DPMS) is in progress.

What are the major focus areas of your department?
GHMC has implemented Oracle E-Business Suite including Oracle Core Financials (for general ledger and cash management) and Oracle Core Purchasing (for budgeting and work order management modules) is currently used by all zonal, circle and head office. We also have developed application for property tax and trade license.

GHMC has adopted e-Governance to provide enhanced civic services to the citizens of twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Please elaborate on this ?
GHMC took the first step towards making e-governance and a paperless office by introducing e-Office. GHMC has become the first city corporation in the country in implementing e-Office in all its sections and departments. Now, physical file transaction is dispensed and all files transactions are being carried out electronically, which is a crucial step in ushering the concept of “Smart City”. eOffice Plus is another application which enables the citizens to know current status of any file within GHMC along with the details of file movement and the officers and staff by whom the file has been processed within GHMC. Besides, Development Permission Management System has been introduced for ‘online approval system’ in GHMC for issue of building and layout permissions.

What are the major challenges your face? And how do you address those challenges?
Adapting to new technologies and applications is not always an easy task. Continuous efforts are needed to motivate the employees who are used to traditional methods from last many years. To overcome these challenges, training sessions and seminars are conducted to educate the employees to adapt the latest technology.

How significant is public participation in ensuring smooth IT operations and its success?
To illustrate, when MyGHMC mobile app is launched, there was huge response from the people which is encouraging. Within 100 days from the date of launch of app, there were more than 1 lakh downloads and positive feedback is received from citizens with rating of 4.2/5 in Google play store.

How crucial is the training part for employees? How often GHMC conducts training programmes for its employees?
Whenever new application is launched, training is imparted to concerned employees and hand-hold support is given till they are familiarised with the application. When eOffice is launched, 2200 employees were trained in just three weeks. Now, all files are digitised and the movement of files is much quick because of the trainings conducted.

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