The findings of the study by Praja Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, not only reveals the disconnect between corporators and citizens, it is also a reflection of Mumbaiites’ dissatisfaction with basic civic services.
Praja’s citizen satisfaction levels show that an average citizen’s satisfaction with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s performance was just 58%. It’s not surprising then that citizens submitted 29,852 complaints on only the condition of the city’s roads, the highest number of complaints for any civic issue.
Despite the BMC’s claim that it is making better roads, the number of road complaints shot up from the 5,177 in 2011, a rise of 477%. Of these, a majority of them - 26,056 complaints - were only about potholes and bad patches.
Despite the grave nature of the problem, corporators seemed reluctant to ask the BMC tough questions on the state of the roads. Only 100 queries by 227 corporators concerned roads.
Praja members and civic officials, however, attributed the drastic increase in the number of complaints to the recently introduced pothole tracking system, which enables Mumbaiites to click photos of bad roads and send them to concerned officials.
“The new system has made it easier for citizens to register complaints, so there is an increase in the number of complaints compared to last year,” an official said.
The poor state of civic amenities reflects in the kind of grievances. For instance, after roads, the most number of complaints -16,194 – was about poor drainage.
This, too, is not reflected in the corporators’ dealings at ward committees. Only 31 queries were raised about drains in the 10-month period for which the data was interpreted.
While most corporators disagree with the findings – that they don’t care about citizen’s concerns – most agree that the grievances recorded are indeed the major concern areas.