For the past four months, hardly anyone in Chemmaruthy, located in rural Thiruvananthapuram, had to visit the panchayat office. The residents here can now access all services offered by the panchayat from their homes. Early this year, the State government had chosen Chemmaruthy for the pilot run of its intelligent e-governance system through which more than 200 services can be accessed online.
The software, Integrated Local e-governance Management System (ILGMS), developed by the Information Kerala Mission will be deployed across 150 panchayats later this month. The services available include applications for various certificates, payment of taxes and raising of complaints and appeals.
The difference is there for all to see. Now, there is hardly any rush at the panchayat office. Since we began using it, 1,537 requests have been received through it and all of them have been addressed. Earlier people working abroad used to take the help of a relative living here to submit an application and they had to make multiple visits to get things done. Now they can do it directly from anywhere. Due to the pandemic situation, some of the employees were working from home and they could take action on these files from home, says A.H.Salim, Chemmaruthy grama panchayat president.
The documents required for a particular application can be scanned and uploaded. In case of discrepancies, notifications regarding the same will be sent online and as SMS. The software sets the time for processing for each application at a particular employee's desk. The details regarding the delayed files will be available at the department heads as well as the employee's dashboard. The applicants will thus have an option to track and raise complaints, in case action is delayed.
According to an official at the Chemmaruthy panchayat, applications from permanent residents with all documents can be processed within a day.
The IKM earlier had as many as 12 different software for various services, but some of these were not used as frequently due to lack of awareness among the public. An integrated system, offering almost all the services accessed by the public from a local body, is expected to change this situation.