Patna Municipal Corporation’s website, which would have allowed residents to make online applications for birth and death certificates, has been defunct for a month while touts are making hay by selling fake documents.
The website www.patnanagarnigam.org was launched in 2008. It was supposed to “revolutionise” civic services. But ITI Limited, the firm that designed the site, stopped hosting it because dues to the tune of Rs 40 lakh were not paid.
“A few months after the launch of the website, there was a technical dispute between the firm and the PMC. As a result, the civic body stopped paying the company,” said a senior corporation official.
He added: “ITI Ltd has hosted the website on the Beltron server for the past five years. But the firm stopped paying Beltron a few months back, and as a result, the website went off the Internet.”
Sources said the most important function of the PMC website was to issue birth and death certificates without delay. Those seeking certificates could upload all the required documents on the site and also track the progress of their services.
The home page of the defunct website used to provide the contact details of the corporation officials, the building plans of various years, the list of apartments in the city and even the weather.
The system was also supposed to keep tabs on holding tax defaulters. A double-entry system of income and expenditure was supposed to keep track of the residents’ assets.
But like many other promises of the civic body, the website, too, has now gone into the limbo, leaving citizens in the lurch.
“How can civic officers talk about making the city spick and span when they can’t even operate their website?” said Abhinav Kumar, a resident of Ashiana Nagar.
Civic officials, however, claimed that a new website was on its way.
Municipal commissioner Adesh Titarmare said: “We are working to develop a new website. It shall be ready within two months.”
The new website would have several essential services, including facility to pay utility bills, approvals for building plans and tracking of Right to Information applications.
The services would be made available under an e-governance project sanctioned by the Centre-sponsored Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The project aims at computerisation of 14 essential services of the PMC, including collection of taxes, registration and issuing of birth and death certificates, registering grievances and suggestions.
Asked how the residents would avail of the online services till the new website was launched, Titarmare said: “Residents of the city can go to the website of the urban development department — www.nagarseva.in — and use the services offered there.”