Four new services to be added from November 1
Clearing of garbage from the roadside within one day and filling up of potholes on roads and footpaths in a month’s time are among the four new services of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) included by the State Government under its ambitious Sakala programme.
The other BBMP services are addition/deletion of names to the voters’ list and registration and transfer of khatas within 30 working days from the time the application is made. The new services will come into force from November 1.
The inclusion of the services takes the total number of services offered by the civic body under Sakala to nine. The already existing services include issue of birth and death certificates, grant of trade license, issue of khata extract or certificate and sanction of building plans on sites measuring up to 2,400 square feet.
Though the one day time given for removal of solid waste material from the roadside has been generally welcomed, the 30-day limit given for filling up of potholes is expected to raise eyebrows.
“Thirty days time is too long to fill up a pothole. The engineers concerned should know about the pothole and take steps to fill it up. Ideally, it should not take a citizen to report the matter to the authorities. If the Government has given 30 days time to fill it up, it is too long”, said N. Mukund, who represents Citizen’s Action Forum (CAF). A maximum of seven days would have been enough, he felt.
With regard to removal of garbage in a day’s time, the citizens expressed scepticism over imposing of penalty on the officials concerned in the event of their failure to deliver the service in time.
Under Sakala, which is also called Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens System, any delay by a government employee in rendering a service would attract a minimum penalty of Rs. 20 a day and the maximum of Rs. 250 a day as a compensatory cost for the inconvenience caused to an applicant seeking a particular service.
According to officials monitoring Sakala, the already existing five services, which were introduced with the 151 services from eleven departments since April this year, are functioning well. “However, the number of applications attended under Sakala is being under-reported. Any application made for the listed services automatically falls under Sakala. Most of the applications are being attended in the normal course”, the official said.
However, Mr. Mukund pointed out that a number of applications, particularly for issue of khata certificate, are being delayed for various reasons that the officials cite. “In many cases, neither the officials nor the public are aware that a delay in delivery of services entails payment of penalty under Sakala,” he said.
Similarly, a total of 12 services offered by the BDA were also included under Sakala recently. They include sanction of site plan in BDA layout in 15 days, sanction of plan for multi-storeyed buildings in 30 days, issue of possession letter for sites in seven days, issue of khata letters to sites allotted by the BDA or private layouts in 15 days, change of khathas in cases of deaths/wills in 30 days etc.