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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

UT lacks proper system for redressing public grievances

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, January 15, 2014
First Published: 12:24 IST(15/1/2014) | Last Updated: 12:28 IST(15/1/2014)

The effectiveness of Chandigarh administration’s public grievances redress system seems to have gone for a toss, as there is no proper system for tracking the movement of complaints submitted by residents at various levels.

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Also, there is no foolproof system to even maintain records of complaints received by different departments. As no formal receipt is given to the complainant, the same cannot be followed up. The officers receiving the complaints just give acknowledgment on a plain paper slip and that to on being asked for.

At present after filing of a complaint, no reply comes from the department concerned and if one tries to find out the status then the complaint is more often not traceable.

City-based advocate Ajay Jagga, who has taken up the issue with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and with senior officials of the administration, said the system of redressal of public grievances had totally collapsed.

“If I move a complaint with the adviser or any secretary and try to find out after two months, as to what is the outcome, it is almost not possible. It’s in the larger interest of governance reforms that all complaints be given a computer-generated number and the complaint should move with that number, so that one can track the file or complaint and its status and if nothing has been done then press for solution,” said Jagga.

He further added that a proper ‘dak’ system and tracking system would also help in restoring the touch between public and officials. “The administration should take the benefit of the information technology system, which is easily available. They have all resources and only a strong will is required,” he said.

When contacted, UT adviser KK Sharma said they were working on developing a system with an aim to help city residents and bringing in transparency.

The Administrative Reforms Commission of the government of India in its report had recommended certain steps for improving the governance in the city.

It includes setting up of new institutional mechanisms to redress citizens’ grievances, improving accessibility to citizens by setting up units closer to people, simplifying procedures to reduce bureaucratic delays, using technology to improve internal efficiency, rewarding government employees who perform well, improving discipline within the organisation, reducing regulatory control and holding public contact programmes.

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