The Greater Chennai Corporation has urged the State to reopen all of the city’s e-seva centres to improve delivery of services to residents and promote property tax collection.

A few e-seva centres in all 15 zonal offices and 16 taluk offices resumed operations a few days ago. But those in the 200 wards of the Corporation did not.

They have remained closed due to the pandemic and officials at a recent meeting pointed out the challenges faced by residents owing to their closure, stressing on the need to reopen them to improve property tax collection after the lockdown.

Residents have also requested the civic body to reopen the centres.

Before the pandemic, over 50 residents used to visit e-seva centres in the 200 wards, 16 taluk offices and 15 zonal offices for various services, including ration card, nativity certificate, birth certificate, death certificate, trade licence renewal, property tax collection.

“They should at least open them in a few of the 200 ward offices of the Corporation. E-seva centres in at least five ward offices in every zone should be opened. It will prevent overcrowding,” said V. Sukumar Babu, former floor leader of the Chennai Corporation.

Essential role

In the absence of councillors, employees at the e-seva centres have been playing a key role in creating awareness about welfare schemes among those affected by the lockdown.

After relaxations kicked in, many residents have requested the civic body to keep e-seva centres open to facilitate delivery of services relating to welfare schemes and safeguard the livelihood of poor people affected by the lockdown.

According to estimates, over 50% of the beneficiaries of a few welfare schemes have not received assistance announced by the government during the lockdown. Many who lost their livelihood have not received the benefits.

Officials said they had not been able to trace many of the beneficiaries.

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