M A I N   N E W S

Punjab wakes up to people’s needs
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Governance reforms

  • 360 urban response centres by August
  • Suvidha Centres by June
  • Land records on the web
  • 400 police stations to be upgraded, networked
  • College principals to issue learner’s licence
  • Polytechnics to conduct driving tests

Chandigarh, November 28
The next Cabinet meeting of the Punjab government is expected to formalise a slew of measures aimed at improving governance and making the ‘system’ more responsive to people’s needs. The measures recommended by the Punjab Governance Reforms Commission (PGRC) received the ‘thumbs up’ on Saturday evening after the Commission chairman Dr Pramod Kumar briefed the Deputy Chief Minister and senior bureaucrats.

The fresh initiative is designed to usher in reforms in the Home, Transport, Revenue and Health administration among other departments. The measures are expected to reduce red-tapism and corruption, improve efficiencies, ensure faster delivery and make life simpler for people.

As many as 20 services will be provided under one roof, make it possible for people to lodge complaints to the police online and restrict the role of Revenue officials in fixing rates of property. The Transport Secretary has been asked to explore the possibility of enabling college principals to issue learner’s licences for driving and polytechnics to conduct driving tests and issue permanent licences.

The recommendations took into account the fact that applications for learners’ licenses are usually submitted by youngsters. But even older people would be able to get the licence from college principals, said an official.

The state government plans to roll out “Suvidha Centres” by June, 2010 and allow online registration of property. The plan includes upgrading 400 police stations across the state for providing ‘single window response’ to public needs like passport verification, permission to use loudspeakers in addition to providing a legal aid cell and women’s helpline etc. By August, 2011 the government hopes to launch 360 ‘Urban response Centres’ which would collect water, electricity bills and VAT, sell non-judicial stamp papers and issue birth and death certificates. The reforms would also allow vehicles to be registered by automobile dealers by June, 2011.

Romila Dubey, Financial Commissioner (Revenue), it is learnt, has been directed to minimise the discretion of Registration Authority in property deals by rationalising collector rates, notifying collector rate for each zone and educating the public regarding this.

A standardised property registration document would be implemented from January 1, 2011 that would save buyers and sellers from litigation. Punjab would also bring major amendments in Punjab Land Reforms Act 1972, The Punjab Security of Land Tenure Act 1953, PEPSU Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1955, Punjab Land Revenue Act 1887. The state would also make150 ambulances operational and a four member team with Director KK Talwar, Dr Ravi Gupta, besides both Directors, Health and Medical Education, have been directed to suggest ways to upgrade trauma centres.





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