If you were worried that your complaints against taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers end up in a bureaucratic black-hole, here's some good news. The transport department is developing an online complaint management system to allow you to check what action has been taken against your complaint.
The web-based application is developed by Maha Online Limited, a joint venture of Maharashtra Government and TCS. At present, complaints against errant auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers are accepted through post, or through the helpline number. The new system will allow you to lodge complaints through text messages, email or by calling the helpine. Once a complaint is lodged, you will receive a complaint number as an acknowledgment. You can then use the compliant number to track the status of your case through the new complaint management system.
Transport officials say the system is ready and trials would begin in a week. "The system will be opened to commuters in two to three months," said a transport department official, on condition of anonymity. "Two months will be spent in uploading data. Work is underway, albeit slow due to shortage of staff. We want the system to be effective and don't mind if it takes some more time to be ready."
The system will be available for commuters in Mumbai and Thane. Depending on its success, it will be extended to other parts of state.
The system is said to have a user-friendly format. Complaints will be classified on the basis of excess fare, refusal to ply, rude behaviour and meter tampering.
India Against Corruption, which launched an SMS campaign against taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers last year, is happy with the initiative. "The objective of our campaign was to provide a platform for grievances of commuters and make authorities reacts to this. We have achieved the same," IAC activist Preeti Sharma-Menon said.