Rethink the doorstep public service delivery plan: LG Baijal to Delhi govt

Lt Governor Anil Baijal
Lt Governor Anil Baijal has sent back to the Delhi government a proposal for doorstep delivery of public services for reconsideration, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday terming it a "huge setback" to the AAP dispensation's efforts to providing a graft-free governance.

Hitting out at Baijal over the move, Sisodia wondered whether the L-G should have powers to express a difference of opinion with an elected government on such critical matters of public interest.

The proposal pertains to the delivery of 40 public services, including driving licenses, caste certificates, and new water connections, at the doorstep of citizens. The Delhi Cabinet had approved the proposal last month and sent it to the L-G for his approval.

"L-G rejects the proposal of doorstep delivery of 40 govt services like caste-birth-address certificates, licenses, social welfare schemes, pensions, registrations...etc.

"LG sends it back for reconsideration. LG says digitisation of services enough. No need for doorstep delivery (sic)," Sisodia said in a series of tweets.

However, the L-G clarified, "The proposal for doorstep delivery of services not rejected. Only advised to reconsider the proposal and suggested an alternate model."

In a statement, the L-G office said the present proposal has implications on safety and security of women, and senior citizens, the possibility of corruption, bad behaviour, breach of privacy, loss of documents and others and adds unnecessary expenditure for the government and the people.

"Service delivery persons would have to undertake 'unnecessary' road trips on the already congested Delhi roads adding to the air pollution.

"...the residents of Delhi would have to pay service charges and the people would have to pay facilitation charges," Baijal said in the statement.

He suggested that digital delivery of services can be the "most effective" tool to eliminate corruption as it removes human interface, minimizes delays and discretion.

"Consider plugging gaps in digital delivery of services from application to delivery stage, enable people to access services online through Internet Kiosks to be set up by unemployed youth," he said.

The development may trigger a tussle between the AAP dispensation and the L-G office.

In a tweet, the deputy chief minister alleged, "LG has taken decision without knowing field reality. Announcement of doorstep delivery scheme was welcomed by all sections of society."

He also sought to know if the Lt Governor should be able to scuttle such measures due to which the people are "suffering".

"Should LG have power to express difference of opinion with elected govt on such critical matters of public interest n be able to scuttle such measures? Public hugely suffering because of that," Sisodia wrote on the microblogging site.

"Most of these services r already digital. Yet, long queues in offices. Despite digitalization, most people still hv to run around govt offices with docs etc. Under doorstep delivery scheme, a govt rep wud visit ur house on a ph call to collect, certify n upload ur docs (sic)," he said.

According to the statement issued by the L-G office, Baijal has advised that the matter is reconsidered with an aim to put in place a model which provides for full digital delivery of services to people and facilitates access to bridge the "digital divide".

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