Poor response to pothole portal | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Poor response to pothole portal

A month after its launch, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ambitious pothole-tracking mobile application has got absolutely no response from the public. Launched on November 5, the website where citizens can check the status of their complaint — www.voiceofcitizen.com — shows only two potholes reported, both being test photos that were uploaded when the app was launched.

mumbai Updated: Dec 06, 2011 01:49 IST
Kunal Purohit

A month after its launch, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s ambitious pothole-tracking mobile application has got absolutely no response from the public. Launched on November 5, the website where citizens can check the status of their complaint — www.voiceofcitizen.com — shows only two potholes reported, both being test photos that were uploaded when the app was launched.

The website and the app, conceptualised to involve citizens in reporting bad roads, allows people to click photos from Android-based cell phones through the app, which is then automatically uploaded on the website. The integrated global positioning system (GPS) helps the app plot the exact location of the pothole on the website. The information is sent to officials concerned , who have to make a public, time-bound repair programme.

A reason for the poor response could be that the app is available to owners of cell phones with the Android operating system, which are generally high-end phones. For citizens without an Android phone, the website simply offers a facility to write in with feedback.

The website and the app has been created by a private firm, Probity Soft, which is charging the BMC Rs20 lakh every year for three years to create and maintain the website and the app. The firm said the Android platform couldn’t be the reason for the lack of public interest. Shantanu Kulkarni, director, blamed the lack of knowledge about the app. “The link to the website was not being displayed on the official BMC website (www.mcgm.gov.in). People probably were not aware of it,” he said.

However, lack of publicity isn’t, the only problem dogging the app. The BMC is yet to train most of its engineers on navigating the website and distribute Android handsets to them to respond to complaints. Once attended to, the concerned official is supposed to take a photo of the repaired road stretch and upload it on the website, for which these Android handsets need to be distributed.

Confirming the delay, Satish Badwe, chief engineer (roads), said, “We have been trained and distributed handsets to engineers from only five wards in Zone 1. We are planning to finish the process in the next few weeks. Citizens can still go ahead and use the app to complain about bad roads.”