Future of home delivery project in Delhi uncertain as LG, govt. spar over issue

Delhi's Lt. Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi's Lt. Governor Anil Baijal   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Govt had invited proposals from firms, held a pre-bid meeting

Having invited proposals from companies and conducted a pre-bid meeting earlier this month, the Delhi government’s project of home delivery of services is stalled as the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation and Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal spar over need for such an initiative.

Doorstep delivery of 40 govt. services

On November 16, the Delhi Cabinet passed the proposal for doorstep delivery of 40 government services, including applications for marriage certificates, driving licences, water connections and caste certificates.

On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announced that the LG had returned the file, raising certain objections to the proposal. The LG highlighted the possibility of corruption and potential safety and security threats if mobile ''sahayaks'' (helpers) engaged by a private company were to visit homes and help with applications.

But before this week’s back and forth between the AAP government and Raj Niwas, the Administrative Reforms Department, on December 15, floated a request for proposal (RFP), inviting companies to bid before January 8. A pre-bid meeting also took place.

According to the tender document, companies with a turnover of ₹20 crore in similar operations, which covers IT application development, data centre operations and logistics of goods and services, in the last three financial years will be eligible.

An official associated with the project said the process would now be halted in light of the LG’s observations. Another official said those that had shown interest so far had been “courier companies”.

Scope of project

Defining the scope of the project, the tender document says the agency will have to develop the application, run a data centre and engage and train mobile sahayaks, who will be equipped with tablet computers and iris and fingerprint scanners for Aadhaar-based biometric authentication.

The process will start with the applicant calling the call centre set up for the service. After giving the basic details like Aadhaar or voter identification card, the applicant will be given an appointment with a mobile sahayak as per his or her convenience. The mobile sahayak will then go to the applicant’s house and assist in the application. If the process requires the applicant’s presence, like a driving test for driver’s licence, a date and time will be fixed, after which the mobile sahayak will be able to collect the facilitation fee.

According to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, a total of 25 lakh people had availed of these 40 services last year, with each having to make several visits to the government offices concerned. While the facilitation fee has not been decided, and would be decided by the bids, Mr. Sisodia said it would be a “nominal amount like ₹50”.

With the LG and the government locked in a disagreement, the project’s future remains uncertain for now.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:08:00 AM |

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