Gurugram district among the worst in delivery of Haryana state schemes and services
The “Antyodaya-Saral Dashboard” is a portal on which departments and districts are rated based on their adherence to performance under the Right To Service (RTS) Act, 2014. As on October 29, Gurugram ranked 19th out of 22 districts in Haryana with a score of 7.1 out of 10, reveals data accessed by the Hindustan Times.
According to the state government’s internal rating mechanism, Gurugram is one of the worst performers in the state when it comes to timely delivery of schemes and services to citizens. As on October 29, Gurugram ranked 19th out of 22 districts in the state with a score of 7.1 out of 10, reveals data accessed by the Hindustan Times.
The “Antyodaya-Saral Dashboard” is a portal on which departments and districts are rated based on their adherence to performance under the Right To Service (RTS) Act, 2014. The score, which changes at the end of each working day, is based on the percentage of applications cleared versus those pending. Each day’s score of a department or district is the cumulative performance till that date and not of a single day.
The dashboard is an internal mechanism in which each department and district is evaluated and assigned a score based on their performance. The district administration and the state government do not put the ratings in the public domain.
Antyodaya-Saral, launched on September 15, 2017, has two components. The first is the ‘Antyodaya-Saral Portal’ through which citizens can apply for more than 400 services and schemes, such as getting an electricity connection, driving licence, ration card, income certificate, among other services. The second component, ‘Antyodaya-Saral Dashboard’, is a service delivery accountability portal for various departments.
But Gurugram has remained in the bottom five spots since the inception of the portal, officials said.
In Gurugram, the departments that are performing well include, agriculture, horticulture and Haryana Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation. The departments that have been performing poorly include Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN), Town and Country Planning Department, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) and the revenue department.
The three top-performing districts in the state are Charkhi Dadri with a score of 9.3, followed by Kurushetra and Mahendergarh with a score of 9.0 each.
“Charkhi Dadri is a new district, cut out from Bhiwani and many of the departments have still not been transferred from Bhiwani. Thus, the workload is very less and there is no backlog for the administration to deal with. That is why this district has topped the rating,” an official with the district administration said.
Why Gurugram lags behind
Senior officials of the district administration said that Gurugram had scored poorly because of the heavy workload the departments here have compared to other districts. Officials also said that Gurugram’s set of problems are unique.
“Around 2,000 people from Ardee City had applied for electricity connections, but these were stuck because of a dispute between the builder and the residents. The residents were saying that they have already paid the builder and won’t pay again. The application in this matter will reflect as pending and, in turn, affect the score of the department and the district,” the official said.
Deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said that they were constantly reviewing the performance of departments and the score has improved in the past month.
“We are focusing on departments that are not performing well and services that are being delayed. We are sensitising officers whose performance may be delaying any service or scheme,” Singh said, adding that action would be taken against officers under provisions of the RTS Act, if they are found guilty.
Gurugram had ranked 20th early in October with a score of about 6.9. Officials said that before this, the district’s rating was in the 6.5-6.7 range.
To improve performance, the department and district ratings are monitored at the state-level through two monthly video conferences with heads of all districts. At the district-level, two meetings of all department heads are held with the deputy commissioner once in a month.
Gurugram officials, who had taken part in these meetings, said departments that are lagging behind are pulled up in these meetings.
“The idea of introducing a rating was to create competition between the districts and departments (to perform better). Secondly, it has given a clearer insight into performance of different departments and increased transparency,” said a state government official who works at the Chief Minister’s Good Governance Associates (CMGGA) Cell, which closely monitors the Antyodaya-Saral programme.
The official also said that they send a weekly SMS alert to all deputy commissioners on the number of applications that were not processed within the timeframe stipulated under the RTS Act.
Mixed response from people
At a Saral Kendra—an office where citizens have to come to submit documents or for verification after filing application online—in the Mini Secretariat, residents gave a mixed response on timely delivery of services with some lauding the performance of departments in the district, while others said things needed to improve drastically.
“Things have become very easy now. I got text message alerts at every stage of processing for my licence application. I was even able to choose my own time for the written test,” said Sweta, a homemaker in her thirties, as she scrolled through messages from the portal on her phone.
Gaurav Sharma, 30, was also of the opinion said that things have improved, but said there were issues that needed to be fixed. “It is not that easy as the name (saral) suggests. I’d paid ₹320 as application fee for a driving licence on Sarathi (a central government-run portal) and got a receipt for it. But when I came here (at the Mini Secretariat) they said they will not accept it (the receipt) and I had to pay another ₹800 and submit all the documents again,” said Sharma, a human resources officer with a private company in the city.
Another resident at the Mini Secretariat, Darvinder Ray, was decidedly angry with the not-so-saral service. “The service is very bad. My son had submitted an application for the registration certificate of a scooter two-and-a-half months ago and we still haven’t got it. Ideally, we should have received it in 15 days,” the 34-year-old said.