Councillors,civic body officials fail to log in; emails unreadhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/councillors-civic-body-officials-fail-to-log-in-emails-unread/

Councillors,civic body officials fail to log in; emails unread

Councillors had been demanding laptops for three years. Even after the demand was rejected,the councillors did not backtrack.

When it came to demanding laptops to remain connected with the citizens,the councillors and officials of the municipal corporation were the first to raise a hue and cry,but after getting these laptops,when it came to logging in to their respective accounts and answering mails,the same councillors and officials preferred to abstain from it.

Of the 40-odd councillors and officials to whom Newsline sent mails after accessing their addresses from the civic body’s website,just one councillor—A P Sanwaria—responded,while the rest remained unacknowledged.

The councillors had been demanding laptops for three years. Even after the demand was rejected,the councillors did not backtrack. Rather,it was part of almost every meeting of the General House. Finally, laptops were provided to the councillors early this year.

However,despite having got the laptops nearly six months ago,some are yet to learn how to use it.

The officials already have computers at their offices.

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Councillor Sanwaria,who was among those who raised the demand for laptops for councillors,said the municipal corporation is slow in adopting technology.

“While we had hoped that some councillors would learn how to use laptops after possessing these,it has not happened. The officials also do not respond to queries,” he said.

The emails were sent to the councillors,elected and nominated,as well as the mayor,municipal commissioner,chief engineer,additional commissioner and superintending engineers.

“I will look into it if officials are not responding timely to the emails,” Municipal Commissioner Prerna Puri said.

The failed experiment with Facebook is another example of how lax the corporation is in adopting technology. Though it is filled with complaints, the officials do not respond.

Even a few councillors who are active on Facebook do not use their official emails.

The Excuses

Ravinder Pal Singh,mayor: I check my personal email everyday. However,the system in India is not so much in place that people send queries through emails. It would take time for the system to be streamlined. In my ward only 2 per cent of the people would be using email. I have circulated my phone number.

Jatinder Bhatia,Congress councillor: Initially,I sent emails to the officers with the problems in my area. However,even after sending three to four reminders,there was no response. There was no other option but to visit the officers for getting work done. I stopped using my email. The officers claim that they do not have the time to check their emails.

Harjinder Kaur,Akali Dal councillor: I give my personal email to people who come to me. I am in the field for most of the day and do not have the time or energy to check my email at the end of the day.

Sarita Sharma,BJP councillor: I have my personal email account. It is just a few months to the elections. We have been given two reminders by the municipal corporation for returning our laptops. Why should we use the official email?