If you have a grievance and want to dodge the bureaucratic rigmarole or the nasty 'sewadaars' not letting you meet the often "busy-in-meeting" officers, a few clicks of the mouse are potent enough to breach this web.
Sounds too good to be true? All you have to do is log on to the Punjab government's public grievances portal www.publicgrievancepb.gov.in and lodge the complaint in English or Punjabi. The complainant can monitor the fate of password-protected complaint on this portal; the action being taken by the department and the pace at which complaint is moving from one officer to the other.
Launched on May 15, the portal, designed and developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), is a collaborative endeavour of the Centre and the Punjab government. Three months on, its awareness among the public remains low.
All complaints which need redressal can be accessed, be it at the level of the chief minister, deputy chief minister, chief secretary, director general of police, tehsil and block office, heads of departments, deputy commissioners as well as senior superintendents of police. Besides, the complaints can be sent to all commissions, such as those dealing with human rights and non-resident Indians (NRIs).
"We are sensitising all officers to deal with the complaints. The response from the public is encouraging," RC Nayyar, principal secretary (grievances and pensions), told Hindustan Times.
"We are writing demi-official letters to the heads of departments having zero disposal rate of complaints so far," he added.
According to data Hindustan Times has accessed, about 1,350 complaints have been filed on this portal so far, but just 16% of these have been disposed of, pointing to the slothfulness of government functionaries. "The complaints must be disposed of within a month," Nayyar said, when asked about the abysmally low disposal rate.
Finance, cooperation, coordination, general administration, health and family welfare, industries, medical education and research, and public works are some of the departments with zero disposal of complaints.
Among the deputy commissioners, the Fatehgarh Sahib DC's office has disposed of 19 of the 24 complaints so far, while the Ludhiana DC's office has disposed of 25 complaints out of 56.
The school education department, which received the highest number of complaints (152) among all departments, has settled 55 of these.
Apart from the complaint, any document to support the grievance can be uploaded. If no action has been taken, the complainant, having exclusive access as to how his/her password-protected complaint is being tackled, can send the reminder too.
"This software fixes responsibility as every record is generated on this portal from the time the complaint is filed. Now, no officer can pass the buck for delay in dealing with the complaints," said an official of the NIC.