The Telegraph
Thursday , May 1 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

e-service eludes Harmu
- Residents suffer in absence of Pragya Kendra at colony

nSeptuagenarian Budhni Tigga had to go all the way to Ranchi Hill, around 3km from her residence at Harmu Housing Colony, to apply for old-age pension at a Pragya Kendra there

nLast year when LPG distributors had sought Aadhaar details from consumers to refund their cooking gas subsidy, a number of Harmu colony residents landed in a soup as they didn’t have the unique identity cards

Life would have been easier and hassle-free in one of the most posh localities of the state capital if it had a Pragya Kendra or common service centre.

Despite being the state’s biggest housing colony, Harmu is yet to enjoy the advantages of the high-tech one-stop destination that ensures prompt delivery of all government services electronically.

Be it birth or death certificates, Aadhaar cards or any other public services, people like Tigga have to venture out to process their application forms by spending hours at the queue.

“What else I can do? I had to walk to Ranchi Hill to submit my application for old-age pension as there is no Pragya Kendra in Harmu,” complained the 70-year-old.

Samir Kumar Mishra, a business executive, added that several people in the locality didn’t have Aadhaar cards despite being literate and aware of its importance. “When LPG distributors asked the residents of Harmu to provide Aadhaar cards for transfer of government subsidy, several ran from pillar to post to procure the same. Still, many do not have the cards as no one wants to stand in queues at the other Pragya Kendras. A Pragya Kendra in our locality would have helped,” he added.

Harmu, spread across wards 29 and 37, counts Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, home secretary N.N. Pandey, BJP state president Ravindra Rai, noted Olympian Sylvanus Dundung besides several IAS, IPS, Airforce and army officers among its 50,000 residents.

Arun Kumar Jha, councillor of ward 37, agreed with Mishra and Tigga, saying he had made several attempts to establish a Pragya Kendra, but in vain.

“I had approached Ranchi Municipal Corporation to provide me space to build a ward office where I could accommodate a Pragya Kendra. The deputy commissioner gives NOC to establish Pragya Kendras only at government properties. RMC authorities, on its part, spoke to Jharkhand State Housing Board, but so far, no space has been provided,” Jha rued.

Councillor of ward 44 Urmila Devi pointed out that besides Harmu, several posh localities in the city were doing without Pragya Kendras.

“Ashok Nagar and HEC Township (ward 44) also don’t have common service centres. At both areas, space is an issue. If there is no ward office, how one can expect a Pragya Kendra?” she asked.

Deputy commissioner of Ranchi Vinay Kumar Choubey explained that Pragya Kendras were opened on PPP mode after assessing their viability. “So far, 21 common service centres have been established in the city. Proposals for new centres are considered if one approaches us with a proper plan,” he said.