Year On, Only 73,000 Takers For Digi Thane App Instead Of Targeted 6 Lakh

28 February, 2019

THANE: Almost a year after the ambitious Digi Thane project - web and mobile application facility - was launched in Thane, it has clearly failed to garner the desired momentum as barely three per cent of the total volume of users seem to be actively using it.

A mid-February report prepared by the team of Digi Thane (accessed by TOI) revealed that the facility has managed to attract only 73,000 users since its inauguration in January 2018, which is around 12 per cent of the total city population. Of these, only 2,500 or around three per cent users have been actively using this online facility raising questions over its popularity and viability.

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) had become the first civic body in the country and second in the world after Tel Aviv Jaffa, Israel, to have an online interactive connect between the local selfgovernment and citizens.

The TMC is believed to have spent nearly Rs 16 crore of the taxpayers' money for this facility, which has failed to attract the desired number of users, alleged activists and corporators. Activists said that the service has simply become a tool for spamming users with marketing messages. Records revealed that a massive 1.80 lakh messages were sent to users till midFebruary.Barely 550 traders are using the facility instead of the targeted 5000, showed statistics.

The interactive digital citizen platform was launched in Thane for connecting residents with civic services like payment of taxes, alerts about civic projects in addition to getting discounts at affiliated shops, restaurants and certain housing projects across town. It was to target six lakh residents by now. Activists and corporators have meanwhile questioned the rationale behind starting such facilities and cautioned the civic body against such wasteful expenditure of taxpayers' money.

"It seems like a massive burden on residents of Thane, who are otherwise deprived of basic civic facilities. Why is the TMC spending so much money when issues like adequate water supply, good roads and sanitation still remain unattended to," questioned Manish Sharma, a resident.

BJP corporator Milind Patankar ,who has been using the facility claims he has not been getting any value addition through the services and said it seems to be just a marketing tool to promote private enterprises.

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