December 06 : When 45 Shimla bound passengers of Delhi -Shimla bus service alighted at the by-pass road in Shimla around 3 kilo metre short of main ISBT bus stand by state road ways bus in early morning in chilling conditions, almost every one got agitated and argued forcefully with bus driver to take them to main bus stand as they have paid the full ticket, but the bus driver was adamant and told them that he could not move his bus beyond this point citing office orders in which all the long route buses coming from New Delhi and Chandigarh were to be terminated at by pass road and asked them to take local bus to reach their destination. Every one reconciled to take their own course to reach their destinations, but one passenger Shri Rajiv Kumar had something more in his mind. On reaching back home he logged on the computer system and made a direct complaint to the Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal on the official website "http://himachal.nic.in" under the programmes " WRITE TO CHIEF MINISTER ". His complaint was duly acknowledged and to his pleasant surprise the Chief Minister directed the authorities to extend all the long route buses by 5 kilo metres and drop the passenger in the heart of city at Lakkar–bazaar, Sanjauli and Dhalli bus stands which are nearest to their homes. This decision is proving boon to hundreds of daily bus passengers particularly old aged couple and tourists.
But this is not an isolated case which has been solved on the intervention of Chief Minister Professor Prem Kumar Dhumal but is one of the many cases which are dealt with promptness and sincerity at the power corridors of Civil Secretariat Shimla on the direction of Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal.
Himself a tech savvy and ardent supporter of use of modern technology, Chief Minister asked his official team to devise various ways and means reach to the people of the state who live in snow-bound, far-flung backward and remote villages and the use of information technology was given top priority by the present government. As an initiative of Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal a specialised cell has been created in Chief Ministers Office to forward and monitor the progress of all such complaints which are received on the website from far flung areas of the state so as the people are not forced to reach the state capital Shimla for various reasons.
All such complaints received by Chief Minister are first duly acknowledged and sent to concerned departmental secretaries to take positive action in time-bound manner and reply in specific time period. The Chief Minister Office also monitors the time period and promptness of every department along with the correctness of the reply and final reply is sent to the complainant in time-bound manner.
This scheme has been getting popularity day-by-day and people from all over the state are writing to Chief Minister directly on various grievances and problems being faced by them in day-to-day life.
People from across the state are sending complaints relating to their daily life problems and all of them are being attended promptly by the Chief Minister Office and proper action is ensured on all the complaints.
Mr B.K. Agarwal Secretary Information Technology says that majority of the complaints relates to drinking water supply, roads, agriculture, horticulture problems etc and it takes almost 15 days to send a final reply to complainants.
The state govt has taken major steps to strengthen e-governance initiatives in the state and has introduced e-systems in various departments to expedite the official work.
Mr B K Agarwal secretary I T told that Rs. 79.23 crore cost Himachal Pradesh State-Wide Area Network (HIMSWAN) project under National e-Governance Programme has been launched in the state to provide Hi-tech connectivity down to the level of tehsils, sub-tehsils, blocks and Panchayats with state headquarters Shimla through internet to introduce e-governance throughout the state and added that entire project will be completed by the year 2011. He said that 2500 government offices would be connected through internet under the project and so far over 450 offices have been provided hi-tech connectivity under the project. He told that 3,366 citizen centric common service centres would be set up in 3243 gram panchayats under the project during the year 2009 in the state.
Himachal is the first State to launch state-Wide Area Network in the entire country and a State Data Centre has been opened to provide unified placement of data for entire State at one place. All the 69 Employment Exchanges/ Sub-Employment Exchanges in the state have been computerised. And a web-based job portal for all 3 stakeholders i.e. employers, job seekers and the Employment Department has been started in the state. Death/Birth, Marriage, Ration Card, Monitoring of Works, local taxes etc. of 1186 panchayats have been computerised in the State and State has taken lead in the country to undertake computerization of 40 police stations under CIPA programme. Touch screen kiosks have been set up at various places in the state to provide common interface for various activities and information about developmental works is being provided instantly on finger tips under E –Vikas programmes launched in the State. All the 68000 employees working in the state would be trained through various expert agencies in computerization and IT related services and state govt has made amendments in R&P Rules in most departments to make IT literacy compulsory for promotion, confirmation and recruitment etc.
Sh B. K. Agarwal, Secretary IT told that state has received National Award in successful implementation of HIMSWAN project in the year 2008. He said that this premier award in the area of e-Governance has been given to the state for providing the best IT related initiatives and providing efficient, transparent, cost-effective and speedy Government to Government, Government to Citizen, Government to Business services.
Mr B.K Agarwal told that all the 3243 village panchayats and 76 development blocks in Himachal Pradesh will be made hi tech by the year 2009 and added that state govt has made an ambitious proposal to link all the 76 development block and 3243 village panchayats through internet. He said that trial run of the Block Management Information System ( MIS) software in Kandaghat block has been quite successful and this solution will be implemented in all the 76 blocks of the state. He told that all the 76 development blocks of the state will be connected through video conferencing facilities with a cost of four crores rupees to provide free counselling to farmers/fruit growers on various issues relating to their crops .
Shri B K Agarwal said that this facility will immensely help the farming community of tribal snow-bound, distant and remote places who face various field problems on crop-related issues.
He told that under the plan the scientists and farm experts in Shimla and various universities will interact with field fruit growers directly on appointed days through video conferencing facilities and advise them on various farm issues like crop diseases, seeds, use of insecticides and pesticides ,weather conditions etc which will help the farmers in far and distant places like backward snow-bound areas to get expert advice and also take timely corrective measures on various issues. Shri B.K.Agarwal told that besides agriculture and fruit crops farmers will also be advised on animal husbandry and fisheries related issues .
He told that the video conferencing between farmers and experts will be scheduled on fixed days at each block and the connectivity to all the centers will be provided through HIMSWAN. He said that this video conference facility will be extended to agriculture and horticulture university so as the university scientists could provide expert advice to the field farmers located at snow-bound, backward and distant places.