Government departments running websites to impart information to the public and among their own staff is nothing new. But a department that has tuned in to the minimalism of a blog, which is easier to maintain than a website with all its complications, is something rare, at least in these parts of the State.

The office of the Deputy Director of Panchayats (DDP), Alappuzha, is the department that has created an e-space of its own on the blogosphere, ddpalappuzha.blogspot.com, in order to disseminate official information, notices, government orders and abstracts, meeting and programme schedules, reports, transfer postings and even a bit of news to the offices under its jurisdiction.

Links to updates on government orders, amendments to existing orders and laws and even available software that can be used by panchayats, are posted on the blog. This is now eliciting an encouraging response from users, according to M.R. Afsal Raj, the section clerk who designed the blog and in charge of updating it.

“The DDP, Kollam also runs a similar blog. That’s where we got the idea from. There are not many other departments with such initiatives as far as we know. A blog is much easier to add information, edit it and update than a conventional website. In any case, our parent department, the Local Self Government Department, has a website of its own in the regular format. Ours’ is a more informal one,” he says.

The blog is yet to be completely open to the public, though options to add comments have been added recently. The public interacting with the officials through the blog is not a distant possibility, adds Mr. Afsal Raj. He has had ample support in the endeavour from the DDP, K. Muraleedharan Nair.

The blog, apart from having links to various departments and their websites, also has lists of the important officials in the DDP office and those of grama panchayat secretaries, to mention a few.

Season greetings to visitors of the blog and news items on various panchayats and developments, the recent declaration of the Cheriyanad panchayat as a litigation-free panchayat, for instance, are some of the items posted on the blog.

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