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Mumbai civic body takes 19 days to respond to your complaint, says NGO

According to a NGO report, the BMC takes an average of 19 days to resolve complaints about contaminated water supply and 17 days to resolve overflowing garbage issues.

mumbai Updated: Apr 12, 2017 10:03 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Overall, the BMC took 19 days on an average to address the city’s civic complaints in 2016, the report reveals. 
Overall, the BMC took 19 days on an average to address the city’s civic complaints in 2016, the report reveals. 

If you complain to the BMC about overflowing drains, don’t expect much to happen for the next 20 days. Reason: That is how much time your civic body takes, on an average, to fix the problem, according to a report on civic issues in Mumbai by the NGO Praja Foundation, which was released on Tuesday

According to the report, the BMC takes an average of 19 days to resolve complaints about contaminated water supply and 17 days to resolve overflowing garbage issues.

Overall, the BMC took 19 days on an average to address the city’s civic complaints in 2016, the report reveals. 

 According to the BMC's citizen charter 1999 (a joint charter by BMC and Praja), the civic body should fix complaints related to drainage, water-supply and solid waste management (SWM) within 1-8 days. However, in the past three years, the BMC has taken more than 10 days to resolve any of these issues, the data reveals. In the M/East ward (Shivaji Nagar, Govandi), for instance, the BMC took 54 days to treat contaminated water and 62 days to remove dead animals in 2016. 

Milind Mhaske, project co-ordinator at Praja, said, "The BMC needs to make its complaint-redressal mechanism more effective, time-bound and user-friendly to provide better services to citizens. The civic body should also undertake an audit system for complaints to better the entire procedure."  

The total number of civic complaints, however, have reduced on an average between 2012 to 2016. From 92,829 cases registered in 2012, the numbers came down to 81,555 in 2016. The complaints on potholes also reduced drastically from 38,279 in 2013 to 5,841 in 2016.

"After the BMC closed down its portal — voice of citizens — where citizens could easily register their complaints on potholes in 2015, the numbers may have reduced," Mhaske added.  

Of the 81,555 complaints the BMC received last year, 31,997 or 39% are still awaiting closure four months into 2017. Another 69% of the cases have not got a councillor code, the data reveals. A councillor code is the corporator's name that is assigned to each complaint. The data also reveals that the number of complaints have increased by 32% from 2015, but the action taken on these cases has slowed down by 17%.  

While the NGO stressed on local-level redressal for quick delivery of services, data shows that 17% or 13,581 complaints of the total 81,555 were escalated from the chief engineer to the municipal commissioner (four levels) in 2016. Of the 13,475 complaints on roads, 2,614 were resolved at the commissioner's level. Ironically, the escalation matrix was developed to address the problem of complaints remaining stuck at the lower level.

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