ABDUL RAUF BEIG | B&C
In an attempt to provide faster services to the people, and do away with corruption and bring in transparency in the state administration, the authorities decided to computerise and interlink the government offices and train its staff into using the technology.
Almost all of the offices, especially those dealing with people, like revenue, mamlatdar’s offices, transport department, department of land survey, sub-registrar’s offices, etc on day-to-day basis have been computerised, but the people are still to get the benefit that was aimed by the government.
A large number of people say that the much harped transparency and efficiency was yet to come to many of these offices as the technology has not been put to full use for various reasons, including collusion of some of the staff to not to use it for vested interests. The technology is at times "made" to function fully if the "people" are taken care of by offering them bribes.
The offices most frequented are that of mamlatdars where the residential and income certificates that are needed for various purposes, including education and mediclaim purposes, are issued. Here the only difference seen is that the certificates are now printed and not hand written or typed as in the previous days.
One still has to make visits to the talathis, who are difficult to find as some of them either go for inspection, or have to hold additional charge of some other village. Quite a few people told this daily that it is easy to get necessary endorsements if the talathis were kept in good humour and taken care of.
Another person, an ethnic Goan said that unlike people from other states Goans were being made to prove that they actually live in the state. He said that his daughter, who had to get residential certificate, after having passed her SSC, HSSC and graduation exams from Goa Board and Goa University, for registering her name in the employment exchange, had to swear affidavits that she was a resident of Goa.
While the department of settlement and land record has been computerised and all its records digitised, people still have to make rounds to get the survey plans and records. Though the plans are to be issued within three days of application people are given a date that goes upto five days.
A person from Bardez, who had applied for survey plan, was made to do rounds of the office on several occasions on the premise that there was some technical problem and the survey plan had to be verified. However, when he offered some amount, the technical difficulty was corrected within minutes and he was issued the plan.
Besides, those seeking change or corrections in the survey plans and records of rights also have to make umpteen rounds to the office to get them corrected. A resident of Ponda told ‘The Navhind Times’ that he could get the changes, he was seeking for, done only when he got in touch with a person who offered help in return for bribe. The department officials say that though the plans could be printed in a matter of minutes, they need to be carefully checked before handing them out to prevent any "mistakes". They said that unlike during the old days when the plans were drawn manually, with the advent of computers the job has been made easy and faster but they have to still check the plans so as to avoid any further complications.
In the case of those seeking to register sale deeds, and other deed and marriages, things appear to be easier if particular lawyers in good books with the concerned registrars were hired or if the registrars were known to them. Otherwise it takes time to get an appointment, which could extend from a week to a month.
However, the system appeared to be changing after the new government came to power and most officials were wary of people approaching them and are more courteous now than before. According to senior officials some of their subordinates against whom there were complaints of "wrongdoings" have been taken to task and some of them have been posted in the head offices and made to sit without discharging any work.