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Kejriwal acts on complaints about door delivery
By Resmi Sivaram September 12, 2018
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NEW DELHI: The ruling Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) ambitious scheme for the door delivery of 40 services faced hiccups a day after its launch on Monday, and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered his ministers to gear up and improve aligned facilities.

The main complaint about the implementation of the scheme - trumpeted as the world’s first - was the difficulty in getting through to a hotline announced for it. A number, 1076, was provided for residents to get an appointment with an assistant who would visit their homes and collect documents and a fee of Rs50. The assistant would then submit the applications to the related office, which will send the service to the applicant.

From driving licence to marriage certificates, Delhiites can now apply for 40 government documents to be delivered at their homes for a fee of 50 per service. Only a driving licence applicant need to visit an office, that too once.

Reports say at least 25,000 callers had to wait indefinitely on Monday. Kejriwal on Tuesday ordered doubling the number of lines and operators. Unanswered calls will be returned too.

The scheme was launched by Kejriwal at 10.45am. Within 20 minutes the phone number started ringing, say officials. They said 559 appoinments were booked. People curious to know about the scheme flooded the lines, they said.

Kejriwal called the scheme a “revolutionary change in governance” and pledged that 30 more services will be added to the facility next month, and will be increased to 100 by the end of the year.

“Delhiites now won’t have to stand in queues in government departments,” he said proudly. “It will save people’s time. Citizens will not need to pay touts to get their work done. Some are criticising that the AAP government is spending Rs1,000 crore on this project. If even 2.5 million people avail of this service, it will cost just Rs12 crore to the exchequer.” The project has been outsourced by the Administrative Reforms Department to VFS Global, which had received cabinet’s in-principle approval in November 2017.

Manoj Tiwari, the Delhi unit chief of the BJP has alleged that the helpline number did not work when he tried to make a call. “I dialled the number in the presence of media but there was no reply to the call. This scheme seems to be an attempt to mislead the people of Delhi. The service will give rise to touts.”

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