Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 9:
The Panchayati Raj department of the Odisha government is all set to connect its officers and field staff through social media messenger service on mobile phone for effective inter-departmental communication as part of its e-governance initiative.
As many as 314 Block Development Officers (BDOs), Project Directors, Assistant Project Directors of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in various districts and other officials of the department would be provided with WhatsApp-enabled android smartphones in sub 10K range.
For this, a group ‘Odisha PR Connect’ would be created by Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) and managed by a senior official as group admin.
All the identified persons would be provided handheld devices with a Closed User Group (CUG) number for this communication purpose.
The department has conceived the idea so as to transmit information to the grassroots level within short duration promoting effective communication and coordination between the members.
The BDOs were recently asked to purchase mid-range smartphones in Rs 10, 000 bracket from department’s contingency fund.
Almost all the BDOs have got their new smartphones and will be getting CUG numbers soon. Besides, OCAC is looking after the technical modalities, a source in the department revealed.
Panchayati Raj Minister Arun Sahu had convened several meetings in the recent past to take stock of the progress and expedite the initiative. However, it failed to take off.
Despite hiccups, it is likely to see the light of the day next month.
“We are using technology to bring the development officers under one roof so that their work could be tracked. It would facilitate inter-department and inter-personnel communication much faster. In addition to this, it would help us find whether the officials are at their respective areas or not,” said Director (Special Projects) Panchayatiraj Department, Nitin Bhanudas Jawale.