With no website as yet, Patiala MC operating in dark ages

  • Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2015 09:04 IST

With the Patiala municipal corporation yet to set up a website, residents of the city continue to be inconvenienced and have to travel to the office to seeks answers to their queries and submit forms etc.

The civic body is only major local government institution in the state that continues to function without a website, even as deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has been advocating and proclaiming that all government facilities and interaction with public should go online.

Interestingly, after taking charge in 2013, mayor Amarinder Bajaj had promised that a website would be set up, but two years on, he is yet to keep his word.

As a result of this lethargy, residents in the other part of the state continue to avail of services like depositing house tax, paying water/sewerage bills and other taxes at their own convenience and from home, Patiala residents continue to suffer and still have to queue up at the MC office counters.

This is the situation even as newly-formed corporations like Pathankot and Phagwara have already set up their websites and also offering some services online.

Some other services that could be conveniently made online include payment of various taxes, application/sanctioning of building plans, obtaining a no-objection certificate for buildings.

"Sukhbir has often been heard saying that corruption can be checked by providing online facilities to residents. It seems certain officials the Patiala MC does not want to end corruption. There should be no problem at all in setting up a website.

For eight years now, the promise is pending even as hapless residents suffer," said Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, a resident of Khalsa College colony.

With no website of its own, the MC uploads its electronic tenders on the state government's website, confusing people and residents.

"Accessing public information on their civic body is now a way of life in most parts of the state. Public notices, directory,
budget, advertisement and other queries all should be made available online. However, here we continue to live in dark ages and are either dependent on newspapers or have to make a trip to the MC office," said another resident Rajesh Sharma.

When contacted, mayor Amarinder Bajaj said, "We are trying to our best to get a website hosted and managed. I assure you that we will have our own website by July 15."

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