Blending of ICT and Administrative reforms to create a Time bound service delivery to citizens.
Thane Collectorate initiated steps for laying foundation for e-governance in its District office by establishing a Citizen friendly front-end for single point interaction between the citizens and the government. This Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) is named Setu (means Bridge) signifying a bridge of facilitation between citizens and the government.
The objective of Setu is to provide Time Bound Service Delivery to citizens by establishing a computerized Citizen Facilitation Centre for rendering various Citizen Services in a phased manner but with more convenience, speed and measurable performance without compromising the credibility of the process.
“Setu®” was one of the earliest Citizen Centric projects that was conceptualized, designed developed and implemented by ABM in year 2000 under the able guidance of the District Collector .This was also the first of it kind in the state that was run on PPP basis. This project was rolled out by the state Govt in the entire state after its initial success in Thane District. This project went on to win several awards at state and national level.
The real challenge was how to develop and sustain successful citizen centric
e-Governance project and deliver state of the art e-Services to citizens.
Some of the main challenges are:
- Absence of suitable, reliable and organisation wide legacy applications or data.
- Lack of IT literacy and awareness regarding benefits of e-Governance
- Absence of citizen focus and service orientation among the employees.
- Under-utilization of existing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure
- Resistance to re-engineering of departmental processes
The solution was a mixture of ICT, application software, BPRs, change management and last but not the least the citizen friendly infrastructure of CFC.
Due to lack of back-end / legacy systems or databases, the entire implementation was planned as a ‘Front-End’ only model. Following objectives were identified for the project:
- Single Window clearance of important certificates, renewal of leases, permits, and licenses. (listed separately)
- Preparation of Affidavits related to various certificates.
- Common Registry of letters, petitions for all sections of the office.
- On-line Pendency monitoring of all letters, petitions, applications, complaints, and proposals.
- Transparent Querying on the above.
The concept of CFC was unknown to Government agencies in those days. Hence ABM had to do micro level planning and supervision of contractor’s work to ensure the correct implementation of this concept. Following layout diagram illustrates few significant concepts pioneered by ABM:
Layout at Setu, Thane on includes
- 19 counters (2 Help-Desk, 10 Application Acceptance counters, 2 Delivery Counters, 1 Special Grievance Counter, 3 Affidavits Counters, 1 SBI Counter)
- 2 Registry Inward Windows
- 1 Information Kiosk
- 1 Dy. Collector & 2 Tahsildar for authorizing the applications
- 2 Writer Tables
- Prominent Signboards for services rendered and checklist of documents for applying for certificates.
Various citizen Services Rendered through SETU
LIST OF CERTIFICATES/licenses etc.
- Solvency Certificate
- Income Certificate
- Age, Domicile, Nationality Certificate
- Ration Card Cancellation Certificate
- Senior Citizen Certificate
- Local Residence Certificate
- Farmer Certificate
- Caste Certificate for SBC
- Caste Certificate for SC/ST
- Caste Certificate for NT, C & D and OBC
- Caste Certificate for Nav Bouddh
- Caste Certificate for VJ/NT
- Caste Certificate for appointment to post under Govt. of India
- Caste Certificate for migrant of BC (other than SC/ST)
- Non Creamy layer for reservation of jobs
- Non Creamy layer for reservation to women in open category
b. License, Permits & Renewals
- Cultural Programme (Performance)
- Cultural Programmer (Premises)
- Water Lifting
- Hotel License & Renewal
- Spirit License & Renewal
- Birth, Death Registration
- Pension to the widow of freedom fighter
- Compensation for cremation of the freedom fighter
- Allowance to handicapped freedom fighter
- Marriage allowance for daughter of freedom fighter
- Allowance for major illness to freedom fighter
- All affidavits related to above certificates, wherever required
- Common affidavit formats required by citizens
- Editable free form for ad-hoc affidavits
The entire project was implemented leveraging existing ICT infrastructure at the Thane Collectorate. Thus the application software was deployed on existing Win NT servers and WIN 95 / 98 clients. The Government of Maharashtra had procured licenses for IBM DB2 rel5.1 so that was used as the back-end database. The application was developed using VB.