Edamalakudy tribal panchayat to enter e-age

Asha P Nair
Sep 04, 2011 at 01:21pm IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  Edamalakudy, the first tribal grama panchayat in the state, is set for a unique experiment in e-governance. The Information Kerala Mission, which has the onus of computerisation in local bodies, has zeroed in on solar energy panels to draw power to make its computers work in the panchayat as electricity is still a luxury here.
IKM has tied up with National Informatics Centre and ANERT to make computerisation possible in Edamalakudy, the only grama panchayat in the state left out in the e-governance project. The NIC would provide a wireless connectivity and the ANERT is planning a solar power project, piggy-backing on which IKM plans to implement its  project.
Till late, the panchayat office in Edamalakudy has been working in Munnar. But a temporary office has been set up in Edamalakudy now, where the computers would be installed.
‘’We have completed or initiated computerisation in 977 grama panchayats in the state of the total 978. This was the one remaining. Since it is so inaccessible in the case of roads, connectivity and electricity, this is the only possible way we can establish a computerised panchayat. But considering the remoteness of the place, it could not be done overnight and might take some time,’’ said IKM Director Dr M Shamsudin.
The ANERT has initiated the tender proceedings to set up a mini-solar power plant that produces solar energy between 1-2 KW, enough to run a couple of computers. The climatic condition of the place has not been favourable for the idea and ANERT is studying its feasibility.
Through computerisation, IKM plans to install its software which would help the panchayat prepare its annual plan online just like other local bodies. Though it has only a population less than 2000, there are beneficiaries for pension schemes, including widow pension and old-age pension. Collection of taxes from the handful of government buildings here, including a school could be enabled. Most of all, the tribal panchayat would make its presence felt in the e-governance map of the state.