The information technology department has adopted the Himachal Pradesh assembly’s ‘e-vidhan’ project as a model for other state assemblies. “Our efforts to make the state assembly paperless has been recognized outside the state,” assembly speaker Brij Bihari Butail said while presiding over a meeting of the press gallery committee.
Giving details about the project, introduced in the Himachal assembly for the first time during last year’s monsoon session, he said: “So far paperless work has enabled the assembly to save Rs 14 crore from reducing the bulky paperwork. We’re making serious efforts to the reduce bulky paperwork during the next budget session. Barring the governor’s address and the CM’s budget speech, a majority of the proceeding have been made paperless.”
The `8.2 crore project was inaugurated by chief minister Virbhadra Singh on August 4. The state secretariat conducted special sessions to train MLAs and ministers in the new system. As part of the project touch screens were installed on legislators’ desks and at the press gallery.
However, the new system, designed by a Kochi based IT form, could not be put to use during the monsoon session as several MLAs struggled to familiarise themselves with it. Under the project the secretariat interface has a questions processing system to take questions from members, issue notices to departments and receive replies from them, fix dates of sittings and create a list of everyday proceedings.
Giving details on the budget session beginning March 11, Butail said the assembly secretariat had so far received 455 questions of which 381 were starred and 74 unstarred. “Most of the questions pertain to the outbreak of swine flu, maintenance of roads, natural disasters, law and order situation and buses purchased under the urban renewal mission. The chief minister, who also holds the finance portfolio, will present the general budget on March 18,” he added.