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Lack of trained employees to delay benefits

NEARLY THREE years after it got underway the computerisation of building permission records has finally been completed. With this, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) now has 80,000 building records issued till 2005, including some dating back to the Holkar era, stored on its hard disks.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 15:00 IST

NEARLY THREE years after it got underway the computerisation of building permission records has finally been completed. With this, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) now has 80,000 building records issued till 2005, including some dating back to the Holkar era, stored on its hard disks.

But, it will be sometime before the benefits of the computerisation percolate to the man on the street, though. The reason for the delay: lack of necessary hardware and trained personnel.

For instance, the Corporation doesn’t yet have a printer meaning that reproductions of a particular record cannot be made available.

Again IMC staffers are unschooled in Oracle the software used for the record database. Cognizant of these shortcomings, the IMC administration has decided to extend the contract of Riding Consultant Engineers (India) Pvt Ltd-the New Delhi based firm commissioned for computerising records-by one year.

The Corporation, it may be noted, had hired the firm in September 2003 for computerising records as part of a plan to make building permissions available online.

Initially, a total of 40,000 records were to be computerised at a cost of Rs 24 lakh and the figure was later raised to Rs 40 lakh after the Corporation increased the number of files to 80,000.

Five employees of Riding Consultants, assisted by 25 IMC staffers, slogged painstakingly for two-and-a-half years to convert the hard copies into a computerised database.

“Now that the task is complete we have been asked to train IMC staffers in operating the system and for this our contract has been extended by a year”, informed Software Engineer, Riding Consultant, Kishor Chaudhary.

The software engineer says his firm’s decision to use Oracle for the database, dictated by “security concerns”, has spawned a problem because very few Corporation employees are acquainted with it.

“We have been asked to train the Building Officer, Building Inspector and at least one clerk in all 12 municipal zones,” he informed.

Chaudhary asserts that apart from training there are no other roadblocks. “Connectivity between IMC headquarter and zones, which could have been a concern, has already been tackled thanks to the e-link system”.