To ensure time bound delivery of services to the people, the Himachal Pradesh Government including thirty more services of the Housing, Transport, Home and Health departments under the HP Public Service Guarantee Act.
The H.P. Public Services Guarantee Act had been passed by the State Government to ensure accountability and responsiveness in the administration which also guarantee delivery of notified public services to the citizens within the stipulated period. The Act also provide for penalizing the officials in case of delay or non delivery of services.

As many as 15 critical departments have been covered under the Act which is providing 86 different services to the citizens. The departments covered under the Act for assured time bound services include Health, Forests, Panchayati Raj, Revenue, Industries, Irrigation and Public Health Department, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, Home (Fire Services), MPP and Power, Urban Development and Town and Country Planning.

In order to make the Act more effective, a provision of second appeal before the State Chief Information Commissioner have been made, while in many other States these powers lie with the respective Heads of the Departments. The State government has also prepared Training Action Plans for all the departments under the State Training Policy so that the employees will equipped to live up to their responsibilities and deliver better services to the people. Master trainers will be trained and deputed at district and department level to ensure that service providing departments provide the services in a stipulated time period. Besides, Nodal Officers will also be appointed to monitor the ongoing progress.

Three notified services of the department of Animal Husbandry, one of Agriculture, nine of Health, two of Fire services, 11 of Police, three of Irrigation & Public Health, seven of Industries, four of Social justice & Empowerment, six of Panchayati Raj, six of Revenue, seven of Town & Country Planning, nine of Urban development, 11 of Housing, three of Transport and four services of forest have been notified Under the Act.

In Agriculture department, notified service of soil testing (Sample) is being provided to the people within 6o days of stipulated time for providing the services by soil testing officer of the concerned area. Similarly, in Irrigation & Public Health Department, water connection (domestic/commercial) will be sanction within one month, minor breakdown in drinking water supply and irrigation schemes within a day after supply of power by Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board will be provided to the people. Under the Act, concerned District Welfare Officer will issue Identity Cards to Senior Citizens within three days from the receipt of the complete application with requisite documents in the office of District Welfare Officer. Likewise, concerned District Welfare Officer will also issue Identity Cards to persons with disabilities within three days from the receipt of the complete application with requisite documents.

The Act also ensures grazing permits within 24 hours, mortgage permission within two weeks, registration of birth, death and marriage within two days and copy of birth, death and marriage certificate will be provided within 15 days. Under the Act, ration card will be prepared in a stipulated time period of 60 days. The Act also ensures that SHO of concerned Police Station will take action within 24 hours on online complains.

The information about these services is available on the website of department of Administrative Reforms and it can also be obtained from all 2350 Lok Mitra Kendras being run in the State. A comprehensive plan has been prepared to actively involve the concerned departments to publicize and implement the provisions of the Act.
H.P. Public Service Guarantee Act is, no-doubt, a step forward for ensuring efficiency transparency and responsiveness so as to ensure good governance and also providing time bound public services to the people.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.