Notwithstanding its pole position in implementing the e-district project, lack of infrastructure and erratic connectivity are still posing a serious challenge to effective implementation of the system in Ernakulam.
According to officials, the district administration recently issued a directive that village offices should promote online issue of certificates and not to offer direct service without a valid reason.
However, officials are finding it difficult to follow the same as their offices are not equipped to handle the flood of applications.
“Most of the offices have only one terminal to process the online applications, forcing the village officer to handle the multiple roles of scrutinising the application, verifying the case and approving it. This, in turn, has increased the work load while severely affecting the speed of processing IT-driven applications,” they explained.
The delay in issuing online certificates is proving to be a major dampener in villages around Kochi, particularly in the face of a sharp increase in migration to these areas. “While we are required to issue at least 150 certificates during peak days, the workload is forcing us to issue certificates without personally assessing the applicant or even properly verifying their statements,” they added.
Meanwhile, sources in Revenue department said disruptions in Internet connections affect village offices in remote areas the most.
“Service in remote areas, if disrupted takes time to fix, often affecting service delivery,” they said.
Presently, the district tops the State in the implementation of the project, in terms of numbers and quality.
The project covers 119 villages in seven taluks in the district.
District surged to the top in May this year after registering an increase in the number of people who availed of service under e-district in May compared to the month before.
It had been estimated that 20 out of 1,000 people in the district had used the service. And a total of 663,440 certificates were issued during the period. Settling 79 per cent of the applications at the receiving centre itself powered the district to the top.
Commenting on the issue, District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam said a team comprising the Akshaya district coordinator and IT Mission district coordinator has been constituted to look into the issue.
“They will be preparing a report on the shortcomings pertaining to the e-district project, based on which, appropriate action would be initiated,” the collector said.