In keeping with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s declaration on Wednesday, a large number of ‘sahayata kendras’ (assistance centres) have sprung up in various centers of the city. According to the declaration, these centres would work as local assistance services for people who are entitled to any kind of benefits from any government scheme. The sahayata kendras are part of a government scheme to free citizens from being caught up in bureaucratic red tape over the implementations of various schemes.
Now, all a citizen needs to do to get government assistance is visit these local bureau offices at any time between 10 am and 5 pm. The first such centre became active on Thursday at the Number 9 Bureau Office, in the presence of Firhad Hakim (municipality administrative head and Bengal cabinet minister for housing and transportation) and the municipal commissioner of Kolkata, Vinod Kumar. Shortly after the inauguration at 9 am, a small crowd of people gathered in front of the office building.
The people of the city are reportedly excited over this new project since it would mean not having to make endless rounds of government offices. Be it benefits from schemes such as Kanyasree and Khadya Sathi or getting an Aadhaar card, these centres will serve many purposes. Already people are lining up in front of the offices in their hope of a quick solution to their troubles.
Speaking to the media, Firhad Hakim said, “The Sahayata Kendras are one of the main administrative reforms undertaken by the state government. Today it kicked off with bureau number 9. In the coming days, there will be one such bureau in every single ward of the city.”