Citizens availing civic services online slapped with late fee by the BMC
BMC’s server was down between April 13 and April 18, due to the damage done to an underground data cable at Worli from the ongoing Metro construction workUpdated: May 07, 2018 00:03 IST
Mumbaiites who tried to avail Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) online services in mid-April, have been slapped with either a late fee, or have had their applications cancelled entirely for not completing the online procedures in time. This is because BMC’s server was down for a week between April 13 and April 18, due to the damage done to an underground data cable at Worli from the ongoing Metro construction work.
On April 18, Hindustan Times had reported that BMC’s ‘data fibre’ at Worli junction was damaged at several places due to the Metro-3 construction work. It took BMC a week to repair the cable, as a 100-meter-long patch of the cable had to be replaced.
Following complaints from citizens trying to access the online services between this period, BMC is now mulling to waive off their late fee, or giving applicants a time extension in case their applications were cancelled due to the delay during that week.
A senior civic official in-charge of the issue said, “I received complaints from citizens using the online portal for advertisements, hoardings, and hawkers licenses. On enquiry, I realised the server was down. I have written to the department concerned to figure out which applications faced problem during that one week, and to rectify such cases. Citizens must not have to bear the brunt.”
BMC has a total of 33 services that have become online since January 2017, including health licenses, trade licenses, hawkers’ registrations, licenses for advertisements, projections, digging trenches, marriage registrations, dog licenses, among others. Each service has a stipulated time during which the applicant has to provide related documents, and pay the necessary charges, and BMC has to clear the permits. A civic official from the IT department said, “After the expiry of the time period the applications are either cancelled, or a late fee is applicable. We will now check which applications faced problems during this time and carry out the corrections.”