The Delhi government’s campaign for a clean city has hit a technical glitch with around 5,000 complaints posted through a special app showing a common sender.
Launched on November 16, the Swachh Delhi app received more than 13,000 complaints within six days but 5,000 of them were traced to the cellphone number of a sanitation inspector in South Delhi municipal corporation, said Ashish Sood, who is the leader of House in the civic body.
While the government says the app is working fine, the BJP-ruled civic bodies, which have to look into the complaints, blame it on the faulty design of the mobile application.
The Delhi government along with the Centre also launched a special week-long sanitation drive on November 22 to look into complaints sent through the app. Within two days, 10,000 more complaints have been received.
The app requires a complainant to take a picture and send it. The authorities get the picture with the coordinates of the area from where it is uploaded.
“And that is where the problem lies. If you take a picture of a garbage heap in a market and upload it from home, the location would that be of your home,” said Farhad Suri, leader of opposition in SDMC.
Civic bodies can’t verify complaints or contact the complainant because of the number glitch, Sood said. “Also, it’s a major blip on the credibility of the application. It seems the government launched it in haste without conducting proper trials and checks,” he said, adding IT wing of the civic body was talking to the government and app developers to resolve the problem.
A senior Delhi government official said the app was working just fine and was being continuously evolved to help city’s resident.
“If the locations shown in the complaint are different, then how can it be a technical error? There is nothing wrong with the app and it is being continuously moderated to cater to the people,” the official said.