A nodal officer was going from police station to police station to ensure effective implementation of the scheme. Although there was some progress, he said that more needed to be done in this regard.

Tardy implementation of the Sakala scheme guaranteeing government services in a time-bound manner in Home Department and Nemmadi Kendras in Dakshina Kannada is a matter of concern, according to Deputy Commissioner N.S. Channappa Gowda.

He told The Hindu on Wednesday that there were problems in issuing receipts to complaints received by the police under the ambitious Sakala project. A nodal officer was going from police station to police station to ensure effective implementation of the scheme. Although there was some progress, he said that more needed to be done in this regard.

As far as Nemmadi Kendras were concerned, technical problems had affected the implementation of the scheme. He agreed with the observation made in a study report prepared by the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) that “a cancelled request in the Nemmadi system continued to remain as a pending request in the Sakala system”. But he said such technical problems were coming down.

The May-10 report of the IIMB recommended “resolving technical glitches relating to incomplete integration of existing departmental software and the Sakala System on a priority basis.”

Regarding the recommendation on training the staff, he said it was addressed at the State level and training was given to staff when the scheme had been extended to all taluks.

Helpdesk

Mr. Gowda said a helpdesk had been set up and its phone numbers would figure in the acknowledgement receipts issued under Sakala scheme from next month so that people could call and track progress of their grievances or applications. The IIMB report had said that Sakala display boards and acknowledgement receipts did not include the website address or the mobile phone number through which citizens could check the status of their applications.

The other key findings of the report were: many people surveyed did not face any particular difficulty or delay in availing the services in Puttur and Mangalore. But the level of awareness of Sakala was minimal; officials felt that Sakala had empowered them and those working conscientiously were being recognised and they found that interaction and cooperation between team members had increased since the introduction of Sakala; officials in all departments said they were overburdened with unfilled vacancies and also sought training in IT skills.

The report, prepared by CPP Chief Operating Officer Sridhar Pabbisetty and its research associate Mahima Vijendra, recommended rationalisation of services across departments. For instance in the Revenue Department there were services that were rarely used such as population certificate and living certificate. These could be replaced by services such as pension, new ration card requests, and election forms.

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