SHILLONG: The citizen-centric governance model implemented in Meghalaya is a pioneering initiative by any state government in the country. The NPP Government of Conrad Sangma has geared up the state machinery with the philosophy of ‘maximum governance’ minimum government’. Two years ago, it enacted the ‘Meghalaya Right to Public Services Act 2020’ under which all the state Government departments are bound to deliver and act in the interest of the citizens. There are over 100 services covered under this Act.
“A lot of times the basic concept of delivering efficiently and fast is diverted because the focus is more on achieving targets, implementing schemes and following guidelines and rules and we forget that we are here to serve the people,” Sangma had said at the time of the launch. He added that the integrated web portal is a step towards achieving citizen-centric governance and improving the overall delivery mechanism. The objective of the Meghalaya Act is to look after the delivery of notified public services to the citizens within a stipulated time-frame, including the liabilities of the Government officials in cases of default.
The portal is designed to provide maximum convenience to citizens. It is an integrated web portal and a dashboard for officials to enable monitoring of status of all applications at each stage. A citizen having poor network connectivity can avail the services of the portal at common service centres.
The Meghalaya Government has been relentlessly working to ensure that various e-governance initiatives directly reach the doorsteps of citizens. Chief Minister Sangma has also launched five online services – the CM’s social assistance scheme for persons with disabilities; citizencentric service for ration card; National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS); online booking of e-tickets for MTC bus services and online submission of annual property returns.
The scheme for persons with disabilities aims to provide social security through financial assistance in the form of monthly pension of Rs 500 to those suffering from 40 pc or above degree of disability. The Ration Cards Management System is part of the digitally-enabled PDS, which allows citizens to modify family details, Aadhaar seeding and transfer/surrender of their ration cards.
The NGDRS, an initiative under the Revenue Department, enables citizens to register land documents with the authority for the purpose of conservation of evidence, assurance of title, publicity of documents and prevention of fraud. The scheme for submission of annual property returns helps Government employees in online filing of movable and immovable property returns. The Transport Department’s initiative provides tourists access to schedules and routes of MTC buses, help them book e-tickets and pay online.
Besides these e-initiatives, the Sangma Government is focused on the improvement of infrastructure in public sector services, like schools, police stations and healthcare centres. About 1,800 Government schools in the state will be repaired and renovated in a decentralised approach. Similar models have been adopted for PHCs, community health centres and police stations.
Meanwhile, the ‘Police Infrastructure Renovation Fund’, conceptualised by the state administration, has also been rolled out. It will be utilised for providing new vehicles to 76 police stations across the state.
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