A year ago, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the country’s richest municipality, gave all 232 of its corporators a laptop costing Rs 52,500 to promote paperless governance. They are still waiting for the software and internet connectivity needed to make those laptops useful.
“We have the laptops but the software is missing, so we can’t use them,” standing committee chairperson Ravindra Waikar said.
The Sony Vaio laptops, each with 2 GB RAM, were allotted so corporators could work to solve citizen complaints online, and also get meeting agendas without paper.
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav refused to say when the software would arrive. “What’s the point of these laptops? We have neither any connectivity nor the relevant software,” said Congress corporator Sameer Desai.
BMC sources said the idea when the laptops were first issued was to send out agendas for regular meetings on at least a CD, if not online – which would have saved the BMC around Rs 1 crore in overtime for municipal secretary staff.
On completing their term, the corporators are to return the laptops to the BMC, along with their official vehicle and mobile SIM cards.