Kottayam local body offices to turn people-friendly

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All 71 grama panchayats in the district set to receive ISO certification

Gone are the days of unfriendly public servants dealing with your application, asking you several times to come again, and each time with a new document.

The quality of services offered at the grassroots is set to undergone a major improvement with all 71 grama panchayats in Kottayam set to receive ISO certification. An official declaration of this unique fete, a first by any district in Kerala, is slated to be held in two weeks from now.

According to authorities, 65 of the local bodies have already completed the certification process, while the remaining six have been recommended for the honour. The certification will enable setting up of an enabling environment and efficient delivery of other services, including the issue of certificates and documents.

M. Suseel, superintendent with the office of the Deputy Director of Local Self-Government Department in Kottayam, who coordinated the initiative, said the ultimate objective was to make these offices people-friendly. “The public will be ensured basic facilities, including drinking water and toilet, while special facilities have been established to make the offices friendly to the differently abled, women and children. The office staff have been imparted training in management and public interface, in addition to capacity building,” he explained.

As online services would be available at the shortest time, all records have been digitalised, in addition to setting up complaint boxes.

Of the 71 local body offices, 26 completed the certification process on their own before 2018 while all the remaining local bodies initiated the project under the Rashtriya Grama Swaraj Abhiyan with the support of the Kerala Institute of Local Administration.

Maintaining quality

Commenting on the initiative, Binu John, Deputy Director of Panchayat, Kottayam, said the challenge would be to maintain the quality of services offered across all the offices in the long term. “For this, we will conduct performance audit of each panchayat on a periodical basis, besides introducing a grading for service delivery,” he said.

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