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Delhi L-G sends back AAP govt’s proposal for home delivery of several services

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia termed the move a “huge setback” to the AAP dispensation’s efforts to providing a graft-free governance.

delhi Updated: Dec 27, 2017 00:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi Lt Governor,AAP government,Delhi government
Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

The Delhi government has blamed the lieutenant governor for ‘rejecting’ the recently announced doorstep delivery of public services project leading to a fresh flashpoint between the two. The L-G office, however, denied the charge and clarified that the proposal was “not rejected” but, instead, sent back to “reconsider” its present form.

Citing privacy and safety concerns, the L-G office suggested that the system be digitised so that citizens are able to avail the services online.

“L-G (Anil Baijal) rejects proposal of doorstep delivery of 40 government services like caste-birth-address certificates, licences, social welfare schemes, pensions, registrations. L-G sends it back for reconsideration. L-G says digitalisation of services enough. No need for doorstep delivery (sic),” Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

The Delhi Cabinet had on November 16 approved the ‘Doorstep Delivery of Public Services’ scheme, which aims at providing 40 key public services, such as caste and birth certificates, licences, vehicle registrations, and pensions to senior citizens and physically challenged among others, from eight department of the government.

Under the doorstep delivery scheme, a government representative would visit the applicant’s house on a phone call to collect, certify and upload their documents.

Sisodia said in a series of tweets that most of these services were already digital yet long queues in offices were witnessed. Despite digitalisation, most people still have to run around government offices with documents, he said.

“The L-G has taken a decision without knowing field reality. Announcement of doorstep delivery scheme was welcomed by all sections of society. Huge setback in Delhi government’s efforts to provide good and corruption free governance,” he added.

“Should L-G have powers to express differences of opinion with elected government on such critical matters of public interest? Ultimately, it is the public that suffers,” Sisodia said.

Reacting to the allegations, the L-G office said the proposal was “not rejected” but had suggested to consider an alternative model.

“LG (Baijal) has observed that there are issues with the present proposal as it would introduce another layer of human interface with its attendant complications including concerns associated with safety and security of women/senior citizens, possibility of corruption, delays, loss of documents, breach of privacy,” L-G office said in a statement.

The statement said the digital delivery of services was the most effective tool to eliminate corruption as it removes human interface, minimizes delays and discretion.

“LG has advised that the matter be reconsidered with the aim to put in place a model which provides for 100% digital delivery of services to people and facilitates access to bridge the ‘digital divide’. To provide access to the internet, the government can consider enabling the unemployed youth to set up internet kiosks where these services can be accessed and made available,” the statement said.

First Published: Dec 26, 2017 21:20 IST