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Online help for birth, death papers
- SMC and SJDA to introduce web-based service for documents from next week

Siliguri, Aug. 21: Online facilities will be introduced from next week for people to avail themselves of birth and death certificates from the Siliguri Municipal Corporation and land documents required for sanction to construct buildings from the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority.

Once the online facilities are launched, people won’t have to stand in queues at SMC and SJDA offices to obtain the documents.

North Bengal development minister Gautam Deb today said the SMC would launch the online facility for birth and death certificates on August 28. “The SJDA will start the online service to issue Land Use and Compatibility Certificate on August 25. Thousands of people would be benefited by the introduction of the online services,” Deb told a news conference in his office here this afternoon.

As of now, birth and death certificates are issued from designated counters at SMC office. Anybody who needs the certificates have to go to the SMC office, fill up forms and submit the same with the officials along with necessary documents and fees. The entire process can be done online now.

However, sources, said the SMC and SJDA would continue to issue the certificates manually even after the online facility was launched.

The Land Use and Compatibility Certificate is a document required to be submitted to municipalities or panchayats by anyone who wants to construct a building on his plot. The local bodies sanction the building plans only when the land certificates issued by the SJDA are submitted.

The sources said hyperlinks would be incorporated in the respective websites of the SMC and SJDA to issue the certificates. “Once forms are filled up and the fees paid online, the birth and death certificates can be issued immediately. In the case of land certificates, some time would be needed for the SJDA to verify the documents. Once the papers are verified, the SJDA will release the land certificate. The advantage of the online facility is that land owners don’t have to queue up at the SJDA office,” said a source.

Deb is the chairman of the SJDA.

The minister said a high-level meeting would be held at Nabanna on August 26 to discuss the financial state of the SMC and explore options to obtain more funds for the civic body. “State municipal affairs minister, the principal secretary of his department and the SMC administrators will be present at the meeting along with me.”

He held a meeting with the three administrators of the SMC and the civic officials today.

Deb said the chief minister would be in Siliguri in the first week of September to inaugurate the renovated Dinabandhu Mancha and the new facilities in Surya Sen Park.

Dinabandhu Mancha is an auditorium-cum-exhibition hall run by the state information and cultural affairs department. The north Bengal development department had started the repair and the renovation of the auditorium earlier this year. New audio-visual facilities and an elevator have been installed at the building and air-conditioning has been improved.

“Once the auditorium is reopened, the information and cultural affairs department will screen films for at least 10 days a month. The building will be available for meetings and conferences for the rest of the days,” said the minister.

He also announced that the construction of the SMC’s new building would commence shortly.

“We had sanctioned Rs 2 crore to the SMC for the construction of the new building. The building plan is ready and it would cost something between Rs 12 crore and Rs 14 crore. More funds will be allocated in the due course of time,” he said.

For better disposal of garbage across Siliguri, Deb said, five compactors — sophisticated vehicles for carrying and dumping garbage —would be purchased by the SMC.

“A sum of Rs 8.26 crore will be spent for buying the compactors which would be parked at five different locations in town. From the first week of next month, rubbish will be removed from the town during night hours,” he said.

Ahead of the festival season, LED lights will be installed along Hill Cart Road, Sevoke Road and Bidhan Road in Siliguri, the minister said.