The municipal corporation seems to have not learnt a lesson from its past experience. Once again, it has splurged Rs 17 lakh to make councillors tech-savvy despite the fact that the move had failed to bring desired results last time.
During the June 15 pre-house meeting, all councillors will be getting brand new 'DELL' laptops with the Internet connection. Of 26 elected councillors, 12 do not know how to operate a laptop.When asked, some said -"children will use it".
The efforts to develop the MC as a tech-savvy local body have fallen flat as most councillors in the previous house, who were issued laptops in 2010, did not use the machines and the project virtually remained a non-starter. Barring a few members, majority councillors have not shown interest on learning how to operate a laptop, resulting in wastage of Rs 15 lakh of public money.
Of the 35 councillors in the last house, who were allotted laptops, only three - former mayor Ravinder Pal Singh, Devinder Singh Babla and Pallav Mukherjee, both ex-councillors - posted replies on the MC's Facebook page regularly to resolve public issues. Other councillors never bothered to log on to their official e-mail IDs assigned by the MC.
The MC had spent Rs 46,500 on each Sony Vaio laptop provided to councillors in January 2010. Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala said, "Though I got the laptop in 2010 and again the MC will give us new laptops, I do not know how to use it. But my children are educated and they will use it."
BSP councillor Naresh Kumar said, "I do not know how to operate a laptop, but will urge the MC to impart us training."
Similarly, BJP councillor Rajinder Kaur said, "I will learn how to operate a laptop."
Former councillors even stated that there was no use of laptop without an Internet connection, which MC never gave them.
However, when contacted, MC commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh said, "We want our councillors to be technology savvy as it is the need of hour. We will impart basic training to councillors, who need it," he said.