Richest corporation must use the Net

Heaps of files, people forced to go from one floor to the other, many cubicles and lethargic staff; this is the impression of a BMC ward office. There are 24 ward offices in Mumbai; each office like a kingdom in itself, with the data of lakhs of people. But with least clarity on what should be done with the data.

Mumbaikars provide all their information to the civic body; from property details, electricity supply details, water bills, birth certificates and municipal taxes of all sorts. Each of these 24 wards collects this data from crores of Mumbaikars. But then this civic body that has a budget of Rs 33,000 crore, can’t even store it correctly, at a single centre that can monitor it with ease. Every time one needs some information from the BMC, there is a long mundane process as the staff scans through files to get it.

The best example of the chaos was seen on July 16, when the BMC pulled down one of the gyms which was inaugurated by Yuva Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray two days ago. He had inaugurated two gyms on Marine Drive - one coming under A ward and other under C ward - hilariously, the latter was removed due to lack of permissions.

There is hardly any coordination between two offices, and most of the times they try to push the work - especially which falls along the border of two wards - onto each other’s shoulder. The IAS officers and politicians just don’t want to expedite process of simplifying the system.

There are also many issues on which they don’t have data. For instance, the number of potholes, buildings that need to get redeveloped, or are facing issues upon having a heritage tag, the fire brigade doesn’t know how many high rises are there in the city and whether they have adequate entry/exit points for emergencies.

The question is, why can’t the richest municipal corporation have a proper computerized system that can give the data at a click of a mouse? People should be able to see their own details with ease. The web-world is growing sturdy; the BMC should cope with it.

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