Your complaints about overflowing garbage bins or illegal hoardings in your lane are now likely to be addressed quickly.
To ensure that its officials attend to civic grievances without delay, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to replicate the online tracking system that it used for the first time this monsoon to track potholes, for all civic issues.
The system helped the BMC fix a timeframe and hold the roads department accountable for meeting deadlines, and it now wants to extend this system to other departments as well.
“The tracking system has brought more accountability as it ensures that both officials and contractors stick to their deadlines. Now, we plan to spread this accountability to other departments as well,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner.
The system will work like the online pothole tracking system, wherein citizens can click photographs of their civic problems and post them online, after which the concerned department officials will tackle the issues within a fixed time span.
With the pothole tracking system, the BMC has directed that every pothole reported by citizens through the system has to be assigned for repair to contractors in two days and filled in three to four days.
If a complaint is not addressed in this time period, the BMC would fine the defaulter – the contractor or the road engineer – Rs. 1,000 per day.
The system led to contractors being fined Rs1.2 crore; civic officials too have been fined almost as much. While the system has upset road engineers, senior officials said it has brought in accountability.
Gupta said the BMC would float tenders to invite companies to develop a new software. “Like the current software, we plan to have a new system through which citizens can lodge grievances with a photograph, such as garbage spilling out of the bin, illegal hoardings and banners, among other things,” he said.
The BMC was working out different timeframes for different civic issues. “For instance, complaints of illegal hoardings could be fixed, say, within a week, while complaints regarding encroachments will have a slightly longer timeframe,” said Gupta.
Not everyone is convinced that such a system will be effective. “It is good to have such a system in place. The BMC also needs to work on understanding why certain services are not delivered by its officials rather than simply fining them,” pointed out Congress corporator Asif Zakaria.