Work to begin in all the departments by next month; heavy duty scanners to be procured for the purpose

Faced with a challenging task of photocopying or digitising lakhs of files with crores of pages, the State government is finalising tenders for scanning the files.

Sources said the scanning work would start in all the departments by next month and some heavy duty scanners would also be procured to expedite the process. By April 30, scanning of files would be completed and two virtual governments would be in place.

The administration would be busy with election work and by May 16, Assembly results would be out. Well before that, all the files should be indexed, catalogued, scanned and uploaded to the State Data Centre and given a password. The original files would be stored in the record room to be available to the two State governments.

Though many departments have started photocopying files for distribution between the two successor States, a view was taken in the meeting convened by the Chief Secretary here with nodal officers of departments that scanning would be the best option. Photocopies of lakhs of files would also throw up storage problems.

Scanning files would not just complete the task faster, but those files would have permanent life, sources said.

Allaying fears about handling files, sources said photocopying files was indeed a big process. But it was being handled very carefully, systematically and under proper supervision, an official said.

When a file is taken out, it is indexed, uploaded, catalogued and then stored in the record room. Files of last five years would be stored in the record room and sometimes, important files beyond five years would also be stored. Guidelines were delineated on what files should be scanned and what to be ignored. For instance, routine matters such as leave, medical treatment could be ignored.