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State to implement Project Sadbhavana from Feb 1

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Guwahati: As part of the measure to improve the functioning of the Assam Secretariat, the State government will launch Project Sadbhavana on February 1 to clear all old cases and close pending files prior to May 10, 2021, within May 10, 2022.

Interacting with secretariat officials, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said soon citizens will be able to file applications and track progress online, apart from visiting public facilitation centres for the same purpose.

“The process will be constantly monitored by the government. Once completed, we will initiate an e-office system in the secretariat,” he said.

Urging officials of Janata Bhawan to redefine their roles and re-dedicate themselves to the service of the people, the Chief Minister said there are many old cases pertaining to various departments and in such cases, decisions have been pending for years. While the old files are gathering dust at the rack, the citizens have to make visits in pursuing the cases, hoping for some decision by the department concerned, he said.

Sarma said a survey was carried out recently to understand why citizens come to the secretariat. It revealed that the top five departments attracting visitors are education (27 percent), PWD (19 percent), pension & public grievances (8 percent), irrigation (5 percent), and social welfare (4 percent).

Of these visitors, 29 percent are government employees, 24 percent are contractors, 12 percent are teaching staff, 7 percent are general public, 6.5 percent are corporate people and 6 percent are retired government servants. The study showed that most of the cases related to the visitors are old cases where no decisions have been taken for years together. The Chief Minister said in view of this, a one-time exercise to dispose of all the old cases, i.e. cases before May 2021 in a time-bound manner by 10 May 2022, Project Sadbhavana has been undertaken by the government, which will bring huge relief – to the citizens. He said it will result in closing files, besides drastically reducing the number of visitors to the Secretariat.

Those without access to the internet can approach public facilitation centres. Citizens will be provided with a unique number for tracking the progress of the case.

Simultaneously, all the departments will undertake the exercise to collect, document, and examine all the old files and the cases dating before May 2021.

In the second phase, the departments will be given time till April 2022 to clear all the old cases and subsequent ly close the files. The clearing of the cases will not mean that decisions will always be affirmative. It will, however, involve due diligence regarding these cases which will be done by the department, and a final decision will be taken. Then the old files will be closed and archived. The exercise will be completed by May 10, 2022,

Stating that the government will use technology extensively in completing this exercise, Sarma said in the front end, the portal will be used for inviting responses from the citizens. The file movement will be tracked through e-office, he said, adding that the implementation of the project will be monitored by the government through a dashboard.

Outlining plans for making the government more efficient and people-centric, the Chief Minister informed that along with Project Sadbhavana, the government aims to undertake swacchta drive to create a healthy working environment at Janata Bha wan.

Once Project Sadbhavana is brought to a logical conclusion on May 10, 2022, the State government will initiate implementation of the e office system at Janata Bha wan, which is targeted to be made operational across all departments at the Secretariat by May 10, 2023.

Sarma urged the officials to be an active part of this news. change and be the change agent that the people of the State are waiting for. Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and other senior officials were also present at the programme.

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