The state government’s ambitious Right to Services Bill meant to bring in accountability in public services, if implemented, will make your life much easier.
For, under the bill, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may have to offer public services such as issuance of death, birth or marriage certificate, licences for hotels and eateries, no-objection certificate (NOC) from fire brigade department or new water connections within 7-20 days. Failure to meet the deadline could invite punishment for erring officials.
The municipal commissioner’s office will submit to the state government on Thursday a list of 20 services that will be completed within the stipulated time. According to the draft report, the civic body has set a 10-day deadline to issue death, birth or marriage certificate, while NOCs from the fire brigade department and licences to hotels and eateries will have to be issued within 15 days of the submission of documents.
Repairing of sewer lines or granting permission for construction of a building, too, will have to be completed within the set period.
Currently, the services are offetred from within a week to a year.
According to government officials, the bill will emphasise the citizen’s charter and provide for a statutory mechanism under which erring officials will be penalised for denying services. The bill will be on the lines of the RTI Act, where citizens who have been denied information could approach the information commissioners.
Civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte said, “The state had asked us to send a list of services and the time frame in which they would be delivered. So, we have drawn up a list of 20 important public services offered by various departments of the civic body.”
The performance of most of the departments has been unsatisfactory. “We have made the list on the basis of the citizens’ charter. The charter was never implemented, but after this bill comes into effect, we will be successful in ensuring that services are delivered on time,” he said.
Chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya is expected to submit a draft of the proposed legislation by the end of this month.
There is an existing Act — the Maharashtra Government Servants Regulation of Transfers and Prevention of Delay in Discharge of Duties Act of 2006 – which focuses on fixed tenures for government officials and timelines of 45-90 days, is not well-implemented.