- Centre incharge says facility understaffed to cope with the rising number of applicants
LAHORE: The dearth of facilities and long waiting hours at e-Khidmat Markaz (e-service centre) have irked citizens and they have termed the entire procedure of issuance of documents difficult and cumbersome, exposing the loopholes in the tall claims of Punjab government’s good governance.
Asghar Ali, aged 46 and a local resident, said that he has been visiting e-Khidmat Markaz at Town Hall for two days for getting the domicile of his younger son. He said that the ordeal of an applicant starts right at the time when he reaches the centre because there is a severe dearth of facilities for citizens waiting outside the centre.
“There is no facility of drinking water and applicants and attendants have to wait for hours in the scorching heat. There is not even a single fan here to sit under,” he said, adding that the previous system of obtaining domicile was good.
“I completed the process for obtaining domicile of my elder son the same day and got it after a few days only,” he said.
Asghar’s son Muhammad Ali said that his ordeal began with the collection of his token, after standing in a long queue, from the counter clerk’s desk after showing his CNIC. “I had to wait for five hours after collection of the token and reach the computer operator to show my identity card along with the token,” he added.
“It was a difficult phase since my turn did not come even until the office hours ended. Now I have to come next morning and undergo the same rigorous difficult procedure, i.e. the collection of a new token and lengthy wait again for hours in the scorching heat, since the token issued on the first day expired the same day,” he said.
Another applicant named Muhammad Arif, who came to get a driving licence, expressed his annoyance over the system. “I came here at 10 am and it is 3 pm and still I am in standing in the waiting line. Getting the driving license from a traffic police centres is perhaps better even though you have to pay some bribe,” he said and added, “But the process is quick.”
Facilitation Centre (FC) Incharge Amjad Mehmood said that the centre provides 13 facilities and there was a need for more staff to cope with the rising number of applicants. He further added, “There is a heavy burden on the internet server and that’s why it takes a long time to process the application and we are making our best efforts to further facilitate the citizens.”
The Punjab government launched e-Khidmat Markaz in different cities to facilitate the public interaction with various government departments and agencies. The purpose of public facilitation and service centres is to integrate all such services under one roof from where citizens could avail unhindered and easy access to government services.
Though e-Khidmat centres were established to integrate 17 government services under one roof for citizens, yet the centres are providing only 13 services. These services include issuance of the birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, divorce certificate, character certificate, motor vehicle registration, token tax collection, vehicle transfer of ownership, FARD, learners driving license, traffic fine collection, domicile certificate, issuance of CNIC, NADRA e-Sahulat, and route permit for vehicles.