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Odisha govt services at doorstep? People have to travel up to 20 km to access MSKs

By Our Representative 

Accessibility challenges, lack of adequate infrastructure, information dissemination, and varied fees taken from the Mo Seba Kendra (MSK) pose a major challenge in farmer’s registration in the Krushak Odisha portal, revealed a recent study conducted by Atmashakti Trust, Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha, and Mahila Shramajeebee Mancha, Odisha.
MSK is an Odisha government move in order to “empower” the common people by taking services to their doorsteps. People can access online services of various departments through the MSK portal, claims the government.
The study, which covered 795 MSKs of 82 blocks in 12 districts of Odisha, revealed that 20.21% of the surveyed MSKs lacked any services, leaving 1827 villages without access to MSK services. 
Not only that, 30.64% of farmers have to travel distances ranging from 5 to 9 kilometers, while 13.07% cover 10 to 14 kilometers, 05.40% travel 15 to 19 kilometers, and an additional 05.68% of farmers traveling more than 20 kilometers to reach an MSK point.
The study also found that MSK infrastructure varies, with 38.04% operating from dedicated buildings and connectivity issues affecting 13.24% of centers. Standardizing infrastructure and improving internet connectivity are vital for consistent service delivery.
The state government’s idea of having MSKs was to reduce the need for citizens to physically visit government offices for various services, making these services more accessible. However, the study findings revealed that 45.70% of MSKs cannot provide services daily due to excessive workload. 
State govt idea of having MSKs was to reduce need for citizens to physically visit government offices
Additionally, the lack of display boards at 21.85% of MSKs and insufficient information dissemination facilities at 23.50% of centers hinder beneficiaries' access to information about available services. Improved communication is necessary.
The state government has fixed Rs 80 for the registration of farmers in the Krushak Odisha Portal. Still, the study revealed that 29.30% of MSKs charge more than the actual cost for registration in the Krushak Odisha Portal.
“To overcome challenges that come the way of farmer’s registration in the Krushak Odisha Portal, the Odisha government should establish more MSKs to cater to the needs of the people, especially in remote areas and hilly terrains. Also, a special drive should be taken up for farmer registration at the Gram Panchayats level. If necessary, the registration must be made available at people’s doorstep,” said Anjan Pradhan, Convener of the Odisha Shramajeebee Mancha.
“Also, the fees for registration in the Krushak Odisha portal are discouraging for most farmers as they have to incur additional transportation costs to visit the MSK center for registration. So, the registration must be made free to reduce financial burden of the farmers,” Pradhan added.

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