Move over RTI, BMC to digitise over 80 crore documents
In a project worth Rs 2.1crore, the civic body intends to upload documents dating since 1888 on website, thus preventing the need to file RTI application
IF all goes as planned, there will be no need to put an RTI application to get information about the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as the civic body, in a year’s time, plans to digitise each and every document and put it up on their website for all to see. Not a small feat as they have over 80 crore papers to be displayed online.
One of the richest municipal corporations, BMC has a Rs 27,500 crore budget for 68 departments including water, roads, health, open spaces, property tax, octroi, storm water drains, solid waste management, development plan, building proposals, and licenses, among others.
Most of the documents to be digitalised are from the municipal secretary department that has the oldest records dating since 1888. There are about 1,200 volumes containing 1,000 pages each, including minutes of meetings, resolutions passed during the British era and reference books related to the BMC Act 1888.
“All these documents are important and they are so old that even turning pages can damage them. If we want to preserve these documents, getting them digitised is the only way,” said a senior civic official. All data, from a small record to the development plan of the city, will be uploaded onto the server. A link will be made available on the website to view all uploaded documents.
“Once the digitisation is done, there will be no need to submit a right to information (RTI) application for obtaining information regarding the BMC,” said Sitaram Kunte, municipal commissioner. According to the official proposal cleared by the civic Standing Committee in September 2012, the digitisation will act as a backup and prevent files from going missing or getting destroyed.
The cost of the project is pegged at Rs 2.10 crore, which may be revised next year. Datamatics Global Services has been given the contract to finish the work in 12 months’ time. However, even after digitisation, files will be kept as record at a missile proof, fireproof place at a location in Rabale, Navi Mumbai.
The number of documents that the BMC will digitise
The number of volumes each containing approx 1,000 pages each
Rs 2.1 cr
Cost of digitisation of the documents