India

Why Sangrur is the best in Punjab for providing public services within set timelines

Why Sangrur is the best in Punjab for providing public services within set timelines

WHEN IT comes to providing citizen-centric services through Sewa Kendras (one-stop government centres for providing various services) Sangrur tops Punjab. It had a pendency rate (that is the number of complaints that were not resolved within the specified timeframe) of only 0.32% as of October 4. This was achieved by constant monitoring, weekly review meetings and, most importantly, strict accountability. Those officials who faltered during the week had to report to the District Collector’s office at 9 am every Tuesday and explain. Most employees quickly decided to instead finish their work on time. “Tuesday meetings are still on even though over 99% services are being provided well in time, but still a few need to explain every week,” said Ghanshyam Thori, the DC, while talking with The Indian Express.

The Punjab government provides a total of 252 services to public — such as providing death and birth certificate, arms license (new and renewal), marriage certificate, certified copies of documents etc. — and they come under several different departmental heads such as revenue, social security and local bodies etc. Out of these, 143 services have gone online while 95 are still offline and 14 services are related to third parties such as bill payment being done by a private company etc.

Although a fixed timeline to provide services was introduced in August 2016 but Sangrur never followed it religiously. Thori joined as the DC of Sangrur in March 2018 and started monitoring the pendency. “Our pendency in providing services was 3.07% at that time with 8,212 pending applications. We were at the 6th position (out of 22 districts) in the state when it came to providing services within the stipulated time,” recalled Thori, who was transferred from Barnala, which was till then the top ranker in providing services till then. He immediately set out to make Sangrur the number one ranked district.

What was his mantra? Apart from fixing overall deadlines for one particular service, he laid down sub-timelines for each stage of the process. For example, when someone applied for getting their old-age pension started, the Sewa Kendra official had to move the file within a day failing which he had to explain the delay.