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Complaints trickling but little action: A slow start for Swachhata app

The mobile application launched by the Union urban development (UD) ministry on August 6 for redressing civic grievances, Swachhata (Cleanliness) app, has taken to a slow start.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2016 10:11 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
The initiative is part of the NDA government’s Swachh Bharat Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019.
The initiative is part of the NDA government’s Swachh Bharat Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019.(Praveen Bajpai/HT File Photo)

The mobile application launched by the Union urban development (UD) ministry on August 6 for redressing civic grievances, Swachhata (Cleanliness) app, has taken to a slow start.

So far just 757 complaints have been lodged through the app by residents in 148 cities. Garbage dumped in the open with municipal sweepers failing to turn up to clean, overflowing dustbins, animal carcass lying on the road and dirty public toilets top the list of complaint received from residents.

The complaints might be a trickle but they have not egged the municipal authorities to resolve them quickly. So far of the 757 complaints received by municipalities across the country, only 116 have been resolved.

“It (the grievance redressal mechanism) will take a little time to stabilise. We will soon start judging a city’s performance based on how quickly they have responded and resolved sanitation related complaints received through the Swachhata App,” a UD ministry official said.

The maximum number of complaints have come from Delhi followed by Bengaluru, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Navi Mumbai till last Friday, the officials said.

The initiative is part of the NDA government’s Swachh Bharat Mission launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019.

Anyone can download the app and file complaints. Once a citizen has posted a picture, it will be automatically forwarded to the concerned municipal authority for as all urban local bodies have been mapped to this app.

The app will pinpoint the exact location of the area of the complaint using the geo-location of the pictures. The ministry has fixed a timeframe for redressing different categories of complaints received through the app.

For instance, complaints about overflowing dustbins, garbage dumps and sweeping have to be resolved within 12 hours of lodging of a complaint. If there is no water supply or electricity in public toilets or there is a blockage, it will have to be fixed within 12 hours. A dead animal lying on the road will have to be removed within 48 hours.

Kinds of complaints received:

Garbage dump 453

Sweeping not done 148

Garbage vehicle did not arrive 52

Dustbin not cleaned 48

Animal carcass lying on road 21