Published : The Statesman
The Karnataka police today became the first security force in the country to launch an SMS gateway with which to empower citizens with status information about service requests and progress of first information reports. Its counterparts from other states have already begun showing interest in this all-important e-governance initiative.
The SMS gateway is linked to the ongoing Sakala or “on time” scheme that it has launched, under which 21 citizen centric services connected with the police department across the state are covered and delivered under the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System.
As per the e-governance scheme, once a Sakala application is submitted under any category, including the filing of a complaint with police, the applicant or, for that matter, the complainant is asked to provide his or her mobile number. This number is required to send or auto generate a 15-digit Guarantee of Services to Citizens numeral by way of receipt to the complainant. This is akin to a PNR number of a railway ticket. On the basis of the GSC number, citizens can access the status of their cases through Internet or an SMS alert. These indicate the position of the application concerned. Once the service is ready for delivery, an SMS alert is sent to the applicant.
At present, citizens have to make several trips to police stations and even after that there is little guarantee of getting the correct status of their application or charge-sheet. The SMS gateway covers the 21 services that are connected with the police department under Sakala, including investigation of cases. According to Mr Praveen Sood, ADG, police computer wing, this was the most pro-active, cheapest and convenient method of providing information to the citizens without requiring any manual intervention by police. This is because it is totally automated in CCTNS. Karnataka, incidentally, is the first state to have networked all its police stations and higher offices through the Internet. The application form, whether for an FIR copy or a No-Objection Certificate for extension of visa, to give but one example, can be downloaded from www.ksp.gov.in. The required fee can be paid at any BangaloreOne or Karnataka One and related websites.
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