LAHORE: All the 4,015 union councils of Punjab are going to be interconnected through an automated web-based system in collaboration with Nadra. Through this mobile application, besides online complaints, people may now report and register birth, death, marriage and divorce online.
Such digital civil and municipal services not only promote transparency but benefit users and facilitate municipal workers, allowing them to make the most of their time. Since digitalisation is not gender neutral, the Local Govt must ensure gender equality while introducing the new technology in the union councils. These views were expressed by speakers at a public seminar on “Good Governance and Role of Local Govt & Community Development Department”, organised by WISE (Women in Struggle for Empowerment) here on Thursday at a local hotel.
A large number of women including ex-lady councillors and community activists joined the event. The purpose of the event was to facilitate an interface between community women and Local Govt officials regarding digital transformation of Local Govt services in Punjab. Speaking on the occasion, Javaid Iqbal Bhatti, Director Community Development Local Govt of Punjab, talked about the digital initiatives of Punjab Local Government to facilitate the public. He said people may now launch complaints and render suggestions online through this App. Farooq Ahmed Khara, Deputy Director LG and Community Development Department, said LG&CD Department has designed IT based project with the objective of transformation from manual to e-governance mode for better management, transparency, good governance and for effective performance of municipal service delivery. He said fees of registration of birth, death, marriage and divorce have been significantly reduced to facilitate and encourage the people. In the absence of an elected government youth participation in good governance is being encouraged under a programme “Volunteers of Local Govt”.
Professor Dr Rehana Saeed Hashmi, Department of Political Sciences, Punjab University called upon ensuring gender equality while introducing the new automated web-based system in the union councils. Sajid Ali, Coordinator of Shah Hussain Network, said Punjab is the only province where Local Govt is being run by the administrators. The elections of Local Govt. in the province are due for the last two years, which is a violation of Article 140/A of the Constitution.