After laptops,MCD councillors now want men to operate them

Man’s supremacy over the machine has been re-established in the Delhi municipal corporation.

Written by Rohinee Singh | New Delhi | Published: February 12, 2009 1:35:46 am

Man’s supremacy over the machine has been re-established in the Delhi municipal corporation.

Given laptops as part of the civic body’s e-governance programme,councillors now want an extra Rs 5,000 a month so that they can hire a man to operate the computer.

The e-governance programme — according to the municipality’s Standing Committee chairman Vijendra Gupta — is aimed at making the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) a “paper-free office”. Not only have councillors got laptops and printers,there is demand from some to upload minutes of all Standing Committee meetings on the Net. Vijendra Gupta said: “This local body will have all information available on the web — a first in India.”

The irony is that very few councillors are comfortable working on the machine. In most cases,either these are being used by family members or are stacked on the shelf. A councillor said: “I don’t know how to use a laptop. If the MCD has given us one,it should also give us operators to do the work. The operators can also teach us how to use a laptop.”

The civic body has installed Wi-Fi facility in the headquarters’ Old Meeting Hall. All meetings of the Standing Committee take place here. Councillors can now carry their laptops to the meeting instead of thick books on the agenda.

The agenda of the meeting,which is otherwise sent to councillors by post,will be sent by email. The MCD is also planning to appoint a technical expert for the municipal secretary’s office to assist in this transition.

The agenda is usually ready two days before the meeting. However,some issues are discussed at the meeting on a short notice. The municipal secretary’s office said: “At the moment,these short notices will be brought to the table directly. We will soon be able to put them on the Net.”

The councillors have also demanded that their meeting allowance be raised to Rs 1,000 from Rs 300. “We will send this proposal to the Home ministry for approval,” Vijendra Gupta added.

on the Budget today
* Councillors’ fund may increase from Rs two to Rs five crore
* English-medium primary school in 272 wards
* Malls and other commercial units might get a separate slab for property tax
* Municipal schools may be used as recreational centres for senior citizens in the evening
* RWAs can be given Rs 2,500 per month if they adopt a park in the colony

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