E-governance initiative remains deadlocked

TCS agrees to up server at conciliatory meeting called by Mayor

The deadlock over the e-governance programme of the Kochi Corporation remains unresolved even as the civic authorities maintained that they were working to iron out the issue.

The online processing of applications, including building permits, had come to a grinding halt as the computer server was down for quite some time, inviting the wrath of the general public as well as corporation councillors.

The civic authorities had accused TCS, the IT firm that bagged the bid for running the programme, of deliberately shutting down the server. However, officials of the company denied involvement in the matter. Meanwhile, at a conciliatory meeting convened by Mayor Soumini Jain on Wednesday, they agreed to up the server.

It will require the services of an official of the company to resume the work. TCS has offered to inform the civic body of the availability of its official for resuming the work in two days, said Ms. Jain.

Incidentally, the corporation council had earlier decided to explore the option of manually processing building permits. Several councillors had pulled up the civic authorities for the latter’s failure to clear applications for building permits of dwelling units of the urban poor which were funded by the State government.

However, officials said any change in the mode of processing could be brought in only with the consent of the State government.

It was also decided to set up a team of officials from the Information Kerala Mission, TCS, Wipro, and the Kochi Corporation to quantify the progress of the e-governance programme. The programme had 22 modules, including registration of birth and death certificates, marriage certificates, collection of tax, and processing of various applications.

The work carried out in each module will be randomly inspected by the joint team. TCS will draw up a schedule for inspection, and officials of the civic body and other agencies will join the evaluation, the Mayor said.

The updating of software and new work that may have to be undertaken will have to be treated as separate works, and a new contract will have to be signed for the purpose, she added.

Even though the corporation had zeroed in on a person to be appointed as IT officer, it had to be put on hold after the enforcement of the model code of conduct. Local bodies need to have separate IT departments for running the show, said Ms. Jain.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:13:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/e-governance-initiative-remains-deadlocked/article27143022.ece

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