All citizen grievances that are not resolved within a month will automatically go into appeal mode, saving citizens the trouble of approaching the appellate authority.
Government officials also rejected Team Anna’s attack on its ambitious grievance redress bill that blamed the government of centralising the grievance redress mechanism.
The activists had suggested that the independent designated authority—which will be the first appellate authority— will function and operate at the state level.
Senior officials said the criticism was an outcome of inadequate understanding of the provisions. “This is perhaps the only mechanism of its kind… We are trying to put a system in place where a citizen will not have to file an appeal but if his complaint is not addressed within 30 days, it will be automatically move to the appeal stage,” an official at the Department of Administrative Reforms said.
Minister of state for Personnel and Administrative Reforms V Naraynasamy, went a step ahead, accusing some activists of “deliberately” creating confusion. Narayanasamy said the government was clear that the ‘Independent Designated Authority’ would have to be established at the district level.
“This will be specifically incorporated in the law,” he said, pointing out that the designated authority at the grassroot level would be given powers to redress the grievances of the block level. “The bulk of citizens’ grievances will be redressed at the District or Sub-District levels,” Naraynasamy said.
Officials said this was obvious since public authorities were present at district and block levels.