KMC's much-touted e-governance runs into snag

KATHMANDU: Two years ago, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City approved the plan for launching the concept of e-governance, but the lack of commitment coupled with serious lack of strategic plans has dashed the hope of the municipality to implement the plan.

“The plan went ashtray due to the lack of commitment and strategic plans on the part of the management though it was approved by the civic body,” said Nama Raj Dhakal, finance officer at the KMC. “Planning alone is not enough, management plays critical role in concertising the concept,” he added.

According to the KMC, the plan was approved aiming to deliver all the services, including the payments of tax, birth and death registration, marriage and divorce, migration and relationship certificate through e-governance to the local residents.

Seoul Metropolitan City of South Korea carried out a survey from June 15 to August 15 last year as per the MoU signed earlier and submitted a report, proposing to adopt the e-governance system in the civic body.

A year since the recommendation, the plan is not moving ahead, said Tribhuvan Man Singh Pradhan, chief IT officer at the Information Division, KMC. “One of the major hurdles in materialising the goal is financial crunch,” he added.

Korean report suggested that the establishment of Information Department is inevitable to implement the e-governance.

“Only 0.25 per cent of the KMC budget is allocated for the IT sector while the Korean report suggested allocating at least 1 per cent of the total budget,” Pradhan said.

He claimed that the implementation of the e-governance will cost at least Rs 100 million.

Padam Keshar Adhikari, an official at the KMC, said e-governance was an urgent need for the metropolis to update records of citizens, file management system and transparency. “It is the part of a good governance, which has been neglected till now,” he said.

Pradhan said that the priority was not given to IT sector although it was the need of the hour. “We have a website but not updated since long. Once updated, it can provide adequate information about the services it offers to the people,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deepak Koirala, deputy executive chief at the KMC, said that though there are technical snags, they are relentlessly working on to implement the system at the earliest.