No takers for e-governance in Balasore

Balasore: Centre’s ambitious e-governance programme, ‘Jan Seva Kendra’, launched to deliver information to people at panchayat level has drawn little or no response here due to the alleged lack of people’s participation, awareness drive and flawed business module. 

The programme under the national e-governance plan envisages Government to Citizen (G2C), Businesses-to-Citizen (B2C) and Citizen-to-Citizen (C2C) services in a transparent, quick, fair and economical manner to the information seekers. However, more than 320 kiosks operating in Balasore district are lying non-operational owing to faulty operational module as the applicants allege that they do not get desired services.

“Facilities like—payment of electric bill, telephone bill, mobile recharge voucher and official information are supposed to be available here. But, there is no success till date except telephone bill deposit facility,” a citizen Radhamohan Mohanty said.

In addition to this, the entrepreneurs allege that Zoom Connect Services, an organization entrusted to operate the Common Service Centres (CSCs), has been charging money ranging from Rs 18, 000 to Rs 65, 000 from each CSC.

The kiosk owners in a way perceive that their hard-earned money has gone up in smoke as it has become a daunting task to run the show.

“If I would have invested in some other field, I would have been benefited. I have lost everything by putting in money in this,” an entrepreneur Jagannath Sahu said.

“At times I feel running away from home as I have to repay loans after mortgazing jewellery. I am not getting any business from the kiosk,” another entrepreneur Keshab Chandra Mana said.

Notably, the Union government allocated about 8558 centres in the state under this plan so as to bridge the digital divide between the urban and the rural mass.

The officials, however, assure to look into the matter.

“We will convene a meeting to address the grievances of the entrepreneurs. I believe the issue will be resolved,” Nodal Officer, Balasore District Jana Seva programme, Biswajit Das said.

In Orissa, the Citizen centric services include the Agriculture, Health, School & Mass Education, Women & Child, Rural Development, ST & SC, Panchayati Raj, Fisheries & Animal Resources and Industry Department’s services.