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Primitive Governance: Most govt depts have defunct telephones, out-of-date websites

March 18, 2018

Srinagar, Mar 17: Scores of government departments have their landline numbers defunct while their website haven’t been updated for many months, making them inaccessible to people.
The government directed its departments multiple times to keep their websites updated in order to ensure transparency in their working.
But a cursory look at majority of the departments show that even their helpline phone numbers do not work for the last several months.
For instance in Revenue Department, all the numbers mentioned for the Srinagar office do not work.
The numbers belonging to the office of Secretary, Additional Secretary, Financial Advisor and Deputy Revenue Secretary show that they have even gone out of service.
The website of the department too has not been updated for a long time.
It shows Mohammad Ashraf Mir, who was transferred as Commissioner Secretary Law in 2016, as Secretary Revenue.
Similarly, telephone numbers of the Labour and Employment Department at Srinagar have been defunct for the last two months.
Its telephone number for the office of Secretary, as per the insiders, went out of service after the shifting of offices from Srinagar to Jammu.
“Nowadays people call on mobile phones. Besides few of our telephone numbers do work,” an employee at the Srinagar office said.
Many departments at Kashmir University also have their telephone numbers defunct.
All the contact numbers of Mathematics Department in the university have been defunct for many months.
“It often leaves students disappointed. They should have restored it so that students can confirm about any academic development,” a student, Shabir Ahmad said.
Contrary to its government’s e-governance mission, many departments have not updated their websites for a long time.
On clicking the website of Public Health Engineering Department, a user is directed to some unidentified website with Chinese text written on it
“This issue has been brought into the notice of authorities, but to no avail. It seems that authorities are not concerned about updating information on the website,” an official of the department said
The RTI section of the website of the Tourism Department also shows Farooq Ahmad Shah as its Director and Secretary, while he actually happens to be the Secretary Education.
The travel agents said that helpline number mentioned on the website of Tourism Department remains out of service.

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