The biggest casualty in the fire in Mantralaya was thousands of documents and nearly 2,000 computers storing files on government decisions, pending policies, internal communication.
Several offices and departments were gutted in the fire, including those of the chief minister, the deputy chief minister, the chief secretary, the urban development, forest, tourism, home and others. Sources said that nearly a lakh files could have been destroyed.
The administration’s central server is, however, set up in the new administrative building and has several important files intact.
“Treasury bills, land records, loan agreements and most closed files - are on the server. We also have backups with NIC Pune and in Hyderabad,’’ said Rajesh Agarwal, state IT secretary. The government has already created private cloud storage for important documents, he added.
Also, the document journey management system (DJMS) on the server will help government officials assess file losses as it allows them to check where each file was generated and last given. Besides this, 2.27 lakh files have been scanned and digitised and are hence not lost.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said the government would be enlisting the help of NASSCOM, KPMG and NIC to retrieve information from hard disks not damaged beyond repair. The director of archives has also been engaged to see if destroyed files can be recreated.
“Since I took over as CM, I have insisted on having a green sheet – a file summary – of all documents that come into the office. We should be able to save these files,” added Chavan.
Officials admit that certain papers relating to new decisions are likely lost forever. “Every day, at least 1,100 files are in the CM’s office waiting to be cleared. These could be about a new allotment, clearance for a realty project or individual case. They may have to be recreated,” said a senior bureaucrat.