Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday virtually launched 56 services newly added to the “Sewa Kendras” (service centres).
Underlining the importance of changing the way of working in the new digitalised era, to make it more transparency and efficient, Amarinder said his government was committed to bring in greater transparency and efficacy in governance by taking the total number of citizen-centric services available at these Kendras to 500 in the next three months.
With today’s launch, the number of services at the Sewa Kendras now stands at 383, with a daily footfall of 60000. Blaming the Akalis for the unviable, poorly managed and underutilized Sewa Kendras, resulting in a huge drain on the state exchequer, Amarinder said as many as 2144 Sewa Kendras were running with minimal footfall and poor delivery of services, while only 170 government services were available in these Kendras under the previous regime.
Besides, a sum of Rs 400 Crore was recklessly spent on constructing these white elephants, which cost Rs 250 Crore annually to the state government to run these centres. His government, on coming to power in 2017, decided at its very first cabinet meet to establish unified service delivery centres for online delivery of services, the CM recalled.
Apart from this, a conscientious decision was taken for amalgamation of all the existing centres such as Suvidha Centres, Saanjh Kendras, Fard Kendras, etc. with complete computerization and digitization to ensure public delivery system in a seamless manner.
The rationalisation led to reduction in the number of Sewa Kendras from 2147 to 516, and subsequent fresh tendering transformed the project into a self-sustaining revenue sharing contract model, with no burden on the state exchequer, he added.
Noting that the State Government started earning Rs Six Crore annually from these Sewa Kendras rather than paying for its running, the CM said consequently the number of services was increased to 327 from 170 being provided during the tenure of SAD-BJP government.
The 56 new services added to the Sewa Kendras today include 37 that were earlier provided by Police department through Saanjh Kendras, 18 which were so far under the purview of the Transport department through their offices, and one (mutation service) that the Revenue department had been delivering through Fard Kendras in the state.