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MCD’s facebook page cleans city

What many phone calls and several visits to the civic body’s office couldn’t do, the click of a mouse did. Neelam Pandey reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 16, 2011 23:57 IST
Neelam Pandey

What many phone calls and several visits to the civic body’s office couldn’t do, the click of a mouse did.

Vimal Kapoor, a resident of Hauz Khas in South Delhi had been crying hoarse to the MCD to get a mound of garbage removed from in front of her building for the past nine months.

Finally on January 6, a team of sanitation workers turned up and cleaned the neighbourhood dhalao (garbage station). This sudden transformation in the attitude of the MCD’s sanitation workers is a result of a complaint Kapoor had posted on Facebook, a popular social networking site.

The civic agency has a page on Facebook on which people can post complaints related to garbage removal. The page was launched on January 5. The success of the page can be gauged by the fact that within 10 days of its launch, the page has been liked by 2,204 people. Not only this, the success rate of getting the complaints addressed is also nearly 100%.

Apart from the youngsters who have shown a keen interest in uploading pictures and posting complaints about overflowing dhalaos, senior citizens too are actively posting their complaints and suggestions.

“I’m not too tech-savvy so I asked my son-in-law to post complaints on my behalf. I had complained about the dhalao on January 5 and within 24 hours it was cleaned by the MCD people. The Facebook initiative is a right step in involving people to change the society,” said 73-year-old Kapoor, a resident of Azad Apartments, Hauz Khas, who has been constantly posting complaints on MCD’s page on Facebook.

In the past 10 days the civic agency had received 56 complaints related to garbage removal and have addressed 51.

“MCD is happy with the positive response and enthusiasm with which the citizens have received our Facebook initiative. The number of people who liked the page has already reached 2,204 and is growing daily. The success rate of addressing complaints regarding garbage is also almost 100%,” said Anshu Prakash, additional commissioner (engineering), MCD.

The civic agency is now planning to involve the youth in monitoring the dhalaos and posting complaints on the MCD page. “We are trying to rope in college students who can constantly give us updates on dirty dhalaos and monitor them. We will give out certificates to them for their work,” said a senior MCD official.

On the Facebook page, critical information such as the service standards and area-wise details of the 12 MCD zones has been posted under the tabs ‘Services’ and ‘Know Your Area’ (KYA). To monitor it, the MCD has set up a control room at its Ambedkar Stadium office where an assistant engineer and a junior engineer access it.

“If all your wings become this proactive and responsive and the citizens step forward to do their bit, we’d have a sparkling Delhi in a matter of months,” said Priya VK Singh, who posted a comment on Facebook.