The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to introduce 500 private citizen facilitation centres (CFCs) where citizens will be able to avail of civic services hitherto delivered only in the city’s 24 ward offices.
As a result, citizens can pay their bills or taxes at their nearest private CFC centre. Civic officials said it was a good move, since employees at the ward-level CFCs were over-burdened.
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “The whole idea is to decentralise the process of providing basic civic services to citizens so that they do not have to go all the way to the ward office.”
Gupta added that citizens can avail of these civic services at their convenient time. “Our ward-level CFCs remain open only till a restricted time. However, these CFCs will be much more flexible.”
Officials said the plan would be implemented in two phases.
In the first phase, the BMC will activate the option of making online payments and making applications for documents such as new licences.
Officials said this phase may take off in a month’s time.
In the second phase, the BMC will introduce the option of obtaining birth, death and marriage registration certificates.
This phase, however, may take time. “For issuing certificates online, we need special hardware. We will have to float tenders for these devices and hence, acquisition will take time,” a civic official said.
The BMC will not pay the private players. The private players will charge the citizens a fee for their services, at rates pre-decided by the BMC.
Said an official from the civic body’s Information Technology (IT) department, which is executing the project, “In case you want to make your bills, taxes or registration fees online, these centres will charge Rs20. In case you want to make applications, depending on the number of pages you have to upload, these centres will charge between Rs30 to Rs90.”
The information will be available online through the BMC servers connected to private centres. Gupta said the performance of these private players will be scrutinised carefully.