No 'Nemmadi' at these centres

Unkept promises Touts ace in providing services, as government falters


Long queues have become a norm at Nemmadi centres. Dh Photo

For it takes at least a fortnight’s time to get any of these certificates, while a tout takes a maximum of only two days to get your job done.

The State government’s Nemmadi kendras (also called telecentres) set up at all hobli centres to provide quick and cost-effective services using technology, does not seem to have given any Nemmadi (peace) to the people.

Nemmadi centres are said to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ where citizens can get a range of services (38 services at present) like pahani, caste, income, residence, birth and death certificates and old age pension registration by paying just Rs 15 for each service. These centres are set up in 800 hoblis across the State.

The government has outsourced the job of running Nemmadi Kendras to private firms - 3i Infotech, Comat Technologies and N Log Communications. These firms get 33 per cent of the Rs 15 charged for every service, as per the agreement.

Deccan Herald conducted a reality check of the functioning of Nemmadi centres in and around Bangalore urban district. It was found that the state of affairs at these centres were just the opposite of what the government claims. These telecentres are bogged down by delay in delivering services, lack of proper infrastructure and ill-informed, untrained operators.

People are made to run around to verify whether their applications have been processed or not. For instance, it takes at least 15 days’ time to get a simple income certificate. The applicant is not informed about the date on which the certificate will be issued. As a result, one has to drop in at the kendra every day to check whether the application has been processed.

Ill-informed operators

A majority of those who visit Nemmadi kendras located in urban areas are students who need caste and income certificates. Surprisingly, none of the Nemmadi kendras that Deccan Herald visited, are providing all 38 services to people. In fact, none of the operators were aware of all these services. The operators are instructed to provide only caste and income certificates. If people ask for any other services like living certificate and residence certificate, the operator directs them to go to the taluk office.

When the operator of the Nemmadi Kendra at Dasanapura off Tumkur road was asked to give the list of services being provided to people in writing, she said she has been asked only to receive applications pertaining to caste and income certificates, and did not know anything else.

Though these kendras are finding it tough to cope with the rush, the government, on the other end, has been claiming that these Kendras are conducting computer education programmes to rural masses under the Education department.

In most places, these kendras are located in dingy rooms, where hardly four people can stand at a time. The Hebbal kendra, particularly, is located in a very small room. There was only one operator with a system. Hence, people were forced to stand in a serpentine queue, on the road. But the government in its website

(nemmadi.karnataka.gov.in) claims that each of these Kendras has at least 200 sq ft of space, 2 PCs and sitting arrangements for five people.


Single window for 38 services

The Revenue Department’s Nemmadi Kendras are meant to be a single-window facility for people to get 38 services. Now, 800 Kendras are existing since 2006 at the hobli level.

However, they are yet to serve their purpose. The services at these centres have been outsourced to a private firm. Lack of infrastructure facility and officials’ lethargy is leading to inordinate delay in getting the listed services.

How Nemmadi Kendras work...

Each telecenter has a desktop computer system, and peripherals. There are 176 Rural Digital Services (RDS) back offices at the taluk level.

The telecenters at hoblis will be connected to the nearest RDS. All RDS and telecentres are connected to central database in Bangalore.

When a person submits an application for, say, a caste certificate, the application form is scanned, and the information uploaded in the back office system of the tahsildar’s office, which gives instructions to revenue inspectors and village accountants for field inspections.

The clearances too are uploaded. After the Tahsildar gives his digital signature, a printout of the certificate can be taken by the Nemmadi centre. A sum of Rs 15 is charged per service.

What people say

This is my fifth visit to the kendra
after I applied for a caste certificate. I am not sure when I will get the
certificate. I have to pay the
examination fee in the college using the certificate,

Vijayakumar, student,
Govt Arts and Science College

There is nobody to guide us on submitting the application. I did not know what are the documents required to apply for a caste certificate. The operator is too busy to reply to our queries. We have to wait until he finds some time to guide us. This is sheer waste of time.

Mahadevamma, Homemaker

I was told that I need not pay any bribe to get the caste certificate at Nemmadi Kendra. So I came here. But there is too much of delay. I submitted the application nearly a month ago, but the operator has not issued me the certificate yet. So those who are in a hurry are approaching touts.

Shivanna, Mechanic

It is a very good system of delivering services to people. But the Government has to make it more effective. People need to be informed as to when exactly they will get their certificate. Also facilities at the centre should be improved. People will not mind paying a bit more for a better service.

Srinivas
Retired Govt employee


What government says

We want to ensure that only trained people work as
operators at Nemmadi kendras. So we are working towards it. There are some lapses as untrained men are presently operating in some places. As far as delivery of services is concerned, I will verify and take appropriate action against companies if they are denying any service.

Ravindran, Director
Directorate of Electronic Delivery of Citizen Services

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