Two weeks on, Jalandhar sewa kenders receive 10 applications in all

The much-touted project of the state government sewa kender has got a lukewarm response in the district as only ten transactions have been processed so far since their inauguration on August 12.

Notably, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, along with his deputy, had inaugurated 389 urban sewa kenders with much fanfare. The project of worth Rs 500 crore comprised 2,147 such centres across the state and is aimed at providing public with 243 citizen-centric facilities at nearest possible locations.

In Jalandhar district only, 30 such facilities have been provided in urban areas, including Nakodar, Shahkot and Phillaur sub-divisions.

As per the information procured from the district administration, ten applications on an average have been transacted so far collectively by all 30 facilities.

“Public still prefers suwidha kender situated in mostly towns and district headquarters miles away rather than sewa kender located in their close vicinity, because of the ignorance of the role of sewa kinder, one of the main reasons behind the dull response,” claimed an administrative official.

The inadequate staff is the other roadblock towards the success of these facilities. According to the rules, at least 3 computer operators should be attached to one urban facility (type-1). But some sewa centers have only one operator contrary to the rules.

According to the sources, sufficient training has not been provided to the staffers as most of them not even know the functioning of the software properly. The private player chosen for the operations of this project has been recruiting the personnel in haste under political pressure.

The government signed a consortium with the firm in which the state will provide a lumpsum amount to the company for a fixed tenure regardless of the count of the services provided. While the state provided buildings, the IT infrastructure and staff recruitment has been done by the company on its own part.

When contacted, Sarabjit, district co-coordinator of the company entrusted with the sewa kender operations has accepted the lapse on staff shortage front. The company is recruiting staff in Chandigarh and shortage will be removed as soon as possible, he claimed.

However, deputy commissioner Kamal Kishor Yadav said the administration has been conducting surprise checks upon sewa kender operations. We are also giving directions to the company engaged in the work and trying to plug the loopholes on the spot, said Yadav.