An interactive website that will soon become a real-time report card of the 67 MLAs AAP legislators and the Arvind Kejriwal government is taking shape — not in Delhi, but nearly 12,000 km away, in New Jersey.
The “first-of-its-kind” website, which is being developed by five NRI IT professionals, will keep a watch on the MLAs’ work, their Local Area Development Funds, delivery of the party’s pre-poll promises and the Delhi Dialogue Commission’s initiatives. Work on the website is expected to be completed within two months after which it will be vetted by the party’s IT cell and leaders before the launch later this year.
“Even as we support the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal, we were curious about how the government was performing. Therefore, we proposed to come up with a website where MLAs would put out their ongoing projects, how they spend their funds and the government’s performance on the whole,” Himanshu Sharma, who is spearheading the project in New Jersey, told The Indian Express.
“A similar record is maintained on a blog now but this website will be officially maintained by the government and the legislators. In the first six months of the government, it has made several announcements and initiated projects such as mohalla clinics, ‘aam aadmi’ kitchens. Now as they are being rolled out, this website will keep a watch on how it is being done,” Sharma said.
Sharma (44), who shifted to the US from Jaipur in 1999, has been associated with the AAP since its early days. So have the four other IT professionals working on the website — Prashant Sapkal, Rakesh Bisaria, Deepak Gupta and Aman Bhatia.
“We have been in touch with Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri and Bijwasan MLA Col Devendra Sehrawat to draft the components of the website,” Sharma added. The website will allow visitors to upload pictures, comments and grievances. Government sources said, as of now, the initiative is entirely at the party level — the cost of setting up the website, roughly $500, is being borne by the volunteers.
Contacted, MLA Shastri said: “In case, an MLA claims he has come up with new roads in his constituency but residents find potholes, they can upload pictures and point out problems. This will be a medium for grievance redressal too to ensure accountability on the part of the legislators.”
“As MLAs, we had promised transparency in our governance and that is what this website will set out to achieve,” he added. “Initially, we will have a rough sketch of the work being done in the constituencies and, as the government launches new initiatives, they will be added.”
According to initial plans, once the website goes online, AAP’s overseas volunteers will keep in touch with the 67 MLAs, Delhi Dialogue Commission and other departments, on a weekly basis, and upload consolidated feedback.
Sapkal, from Maharashtra, said, “The MLAs can do it themselves too, if they have support staff to maintain the website. Otherwise, we have offered to help in keeping the site updated. Volunteers from other countries too have offered to help.”