Delhi goes with citizens' charter

Officials to be fined if services denied

With his slogan ‘Serve people in time or cough up fine’, Hazare’s dream to make the lower bureaucracy accountable to the citizenry is all set to come true after he undertook a 12-day hunger strike to galvanise people’s support against corruption in government.

The reforms in delivery of services like issuance of driving licenses, ration cards and registration of births and deaths in a time-bound manner has been initiated by the Delhi government in accordance with the provisions of a legislation passed by the Delhi Assembly in March.

The decision to implement the ‘Delhi Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services Act’ comes close on the heels of Hazare’s agitation demanding a citizens’ charter for all government departments, providing details about services offered by them, the time limit and punishment for failing to provide the service. The legislation makes it a right of every citizen to obtain time-bound delivery of services from certain government agencies.
The legislation fixes financial penalty in the range of Rs10 to Rs 200 per day for failing to deliver services while making it a right of every citizen to obtain timebound delivery of services from certain government agencies.

“The legislation will come into force from September 15. It will improve accountability and rid our system of irregularities,” said a senior Delhi government official.

The departments which have been included under the legislation are Revenue, Food and Civil Supplies, Transport and Trade and Taxes as well as civic agencies Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Metropolitan Council (NDMC).

According to the law, a maximum penalty of Rs 5,000 can be imposed on officials for failing to deliver services. For deciding the financial penalty, the law also provides for setting up “competent authority”.

It says that for issuance of ration cards it should not take over 45 days, while the MCD and the NDMC should not take more than seven working days for issuance of registration of births and deaths certificates.

The transport department should not take more than one day to renew permanent driving license while a learner’s driving license should be issued on the same day an application seeking one is filed.

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