In a few months from now, city residents will be able to download documents like birth and death certificates of their dear ones from the municipal corporation's website and spare themselves the ordeal of making the rounds to meet the concerned officials to get it issued. The corporation commissioner will also be able to monitor and review the progress of civic projects from his office computer as the government has decided to implement a major e-governance project to increase the efficiency and transparency of the working of civic bodies across the state.
Coimbatore Municipal Corporation (CMC) has been selected as the pilot installation centre where a trial run of this project will be conducted in the coming months before it is extended to other municipal corporations in the state. The initiative was announced in the corporation budget.
"We already have integrated e-governance in the functioning of our departments but it is at a very skeletal level. We are expecting this new project to increase co-ordination, efficiency and transparency in the city corporation. It will also help the officials to monitor the progress of our projects in an effective manner and will considerably reduce the margin for error and malpractices," said TK Ponnusamy, CMC commissioner.
The government has also roped in leading IT firm WIPRO as the external consultant for the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the initiative to be implemented with financial support from both the state and central governments. According to senior corporation officials, the project will interlink all departments at the head office and also the five zonal offices of the corporation. From maintaining a biometric attendance register of all employees, daily status of the infrastructure projects and schemes of the corporation will be maintained in the system, which could be accessed and reviewed by the corporation commissioner on a daily basis. For example, sanitary inspectors will be assigned digital signatures to issue birth and death certificates without manually signing each of the documents. The applicants will then be able to download these documents from the official web portal of the corporation.
Each department of the corporation will be categorized into core and auxillary digital modules with specific digital codes in the new project. For example, the revenue department of the corporation will have separate modules for property tax, water charge collection etc. The entire project is expected to have at least 21 major modules, each dealing with a specific function of the corporation.
"Elaborate databases will also be created to register and store official information including for the payment of bills of corporation contractors executing our projects. All standalone systems in the corporation will be integrated under it," Ponnusamy added.
As per the budget announcement made on Tuesday, allocation of Rs 33.61 crore has been kept aside for implementation of this project. The first phase of implementation is expected to be completed with an estimate of Rs 30.32 crore, out of which Rs 24.65 will come from the central government.