Online power connections

At the outset, let us admit that introduction of any new and innovative procedure by the administration in any department /office of the Union Territory cannot be expected to go instantaneously all smooth, fast and quite on expected lines and there are bound to be some difficulties faced which, as the days pass by, can be overcome. What is, however, important is the feedback gathered from the public to find out the nature of general grievance or the apparent weakness in the implementation of an innovative measure so as to adequately and timely address that.
In this connection, we refer to the UT administration deciding to have the concerned Power Department grant and issue new power connections to people who may be preferring to apply for the same through online mode. Precisely, there are only advantages apparent and hidden in the new system but the general observation of the people is that delays and deferments take place to an extent in certain cases where people have to rethink whether online mode for applying suited them or the old one that of physically submitting the request letter in the Power Department. Under a well designed Business Reform Action Plan , the decision of the UT administration to implement online applying for fresh power connection can only be appreciated as it aimed at blocking one of the possible channels of corruption and ensuring speedy disposal of applications as also confirming that the applicants were not put to inconvenience.
Agreed, UT administration must introduce measures and procedures that bring about not only transparency and probity in the system but ensure people saved time and botheration in visiting offices and even did not fall into the trap of the unauthorised middlemen but at the same time , the staff dealing with such online applications must be fully trained in not only effectively handling disposal but also not resorting to any means knowingly or unknowingly that smacked of discouraging the online mode by spreading dissatisfaction on account of poor response to the new system. Every effort must be utilised to see that the new method was all successful in that the immediate touchstone of its feasibility and success lay in the time factor of disposal of the application.
We do not rule out certain discrepancies being found in the application and even insufficient information submitted but right away rejecting or keeping pending an application was unsolicited and went against the very spirit of introducing online method. Should the administration be committed in seeing the measure all successful, managerial capabilities warrant a small team of two to three employees physically visiting the applicant’s place – residence, office, shop etc- to not only collect on-spot ”missing or incomplete” information but get an opportunity to physically inspecting the spot and even making other discreet enquiries. That will obfuscate any attempt to dislodge the scheme of its innovative nature. What we stress upon is that two or three members on the staff of those offices having immediate public dealing and connect should also move out of their offices with intent to provide service at the door step of an applicant or make things quite easy by physically visiting and gathering the required information.
Every institution dealing with the public directly must exhibit prominently in respective premises as to within which period- hours, days and even weeks– could a particular service be rendered / job done. This information must also be displayed on the department’s website and if possible, even have it fairly known through other convenient ways. We can see the greatest merit in such a system the element of responsibility on the official handling the job as also an assurance to the applicant citizen of no wilful delay. No doubt, on papers or as a part of the online system, there is the provision of a toll-free number where one could air one’s grievances mainly pertaining to delays, however, we know the levels of efficacies practically of this mode of grievance redressing. Hence, better it would be to strengthen the inner working mechanism in Power Department to make online mode effective, helpful and fully successful.