The world may be racing towards modernisation and going the e-way. But, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) seems in no hurry to catch up. Ironically, while the civic body does talk about projects that would showcase Ahmedabad as the smart city, the scenario within its offices is a study in contrast. Many of the AMC employees have been waiting for computers, but in vain. A year later, the 200-odd requests for computers are still pending.
Meanwhile, the AMC employees continue to work the ‘not-so-smart’ way, filing papers and preparing physical files. Requesting anonymity, one of the clerical-level employees at AMC building in Danapith said, “We had computers, but now they are obsolete and non-functional.
Hence we demanded new computers. But we were told that there is a long list of people waiting to get the computers.”
It may be noted that the last purchase of computers, 800 in total, was made two years ago. “All of them were allotted the same year. We have received fresh demand of 200 new computers in the last one year and are yet to make the purchase,” added an official of AMC’s e-governance department, on condition of anonymity.
There are 25,000 employees in AMC, of which 2,200 or 8.8% of the staff have been provided functional computers.
On being asked about the delay in purchase, deputy municipal commissioner for e-governance and material management, Devang Desai, said, “It is true that the purchase of computers is pending, but we are waiting for the funds from Centre to make the bulk purchase.” He also said that in the next few months, 500 computers would be purchased under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).
Elaborating on it, the employee of e-governance department said, “Under JnNURM, we will purchase 500 computers at a cost of around Rs39 crore. This will meet the pending demand of 200 computers. Also, out of the 500, majority of the computers will be allotted to tax department, looking at their demand and type of work.”
Old computers in the offices have become obsolete. About 200 requests were made for new ones in the last one year, but they are still pending.