The spat between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal continued on Friday over the proposal to deliver government services at the doorstep. After the L-G argued that “pizzas, unlike documents, can’t be downloaded”, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia argued that “neither can human beings be uploaded”.
For the Delhi government, doorstep delivery of services — such as caste certificates and driving licences — was a key project for 2018. But it has hit a roadblock after the L-G asked the government to reconsider the scheme and suggested switching to “100% online delivery of services and setting up of internet kiosks across the city”.
While returning the file — which was sent to him for approval — he cited concerns such as congestion due to increased traffic, the potential prevalence of corrupt practices, breach of privacy and loss of documents. On Friday, Sisodia said, “Doorstep delivery of services is not an alternative to ‘digitisation’ or ‘online system’, but a step towards making it stronger. The statement from your press office says that pizza is not downloaded online, but nor can a living-breathing human being be uploaded online and sent to the government office.”
Sisodia further cited services from credit card provision to opening of bank accounts where home delivery services are available and asked, “Will pollution and congestion increase if one pizza delivery boy takes his scooter and delivers 10 pizzas and 10 houses, or if those people living in those 10 houses go to the pizza shops and eat pizza there.” Sisodia said that currently, after documents are uploaded and the final form is downloaded, “ultimately in order for him (consumer) to show the original copies of the documents, they have to run pillar to post at government offices”.
He said that he visited district magistrate and sub-divisional magistrate offices on Thursday and asked people who had queued up there why they don’t use the online process. He said, “Most people said that the existing online services allow you to fill the form, but ultimately, in order to show the original forms, one has to come to the government offices.” He added, “People have been telling me that if doorstep delivery system is implemented, touts at government offices, especially SDM offices and transport departments, will not have work.”