Grievances related to civic issues declined post-pandemic in city: Report
Mumbai: In a report by NGO Praja Foundation on the status of civic issues in Mumbai, it was revealed that the total number of complaints filed by citizens related to various civic-related issues in the city has dropped post-pandemic
Mumbai: In a report by NGO Praja Foundation on the status of civic issues in Mumbai, it was revealed that the total number of complaints filed by citizens related to various civic-related issues in the city has dropped post-pandemic.
The data also states that while the number of grievances registered has seen a decline, the average time taken to solve them has increased. According to the data shared by the NGO, the BMC has recorded 9,45,156 complaints in the Centralised Complaint Registration System (CCRS) between 2012 and 2021. The CCRS is the collective database that records citizens’ grievances from all the BMC portals including the 24/7 MyBMC app, My Pothole Fixit app, BMC WhatsApp Chatbot, and the Citizen’s Grievance Cell - 1916.
Out of the 9.45 lakh complaints that were registered in the past ten years, 1.28 lakh complaints or 13.5% were registered in 2019 followed by 1.16 lakh complaints or 12.3% were registered in 2018. However, in 2020 only 93,774 civic complaints were addressed by citizens followed by 90,250 complaints in 2021.
Furthermore, the data also stated that the number of days required to solve these issues rose from 30 days in 2019 to 39 days in 2020 to 48 days in 2021. The ward-wise analysis showed that the highest number of per-capita complaints were registered from the A-ward (Marine Drive, Cuffe Parade) followed by D-ward (Malabar Hills, Kemp’s Corner) and C-ward (Bhuleshwar, Kalbadevi).
“The CCRS system began generating time taken to resolve complaints in 2017 when the average time was 48 days. It increased to 30 days in 2019 but increased back to 48 days in 2021. Complaints decreased from 1.28 lakhs in 2019 to 90,250 in 2021, which could be as citizens began to lose faith in BMC’s grievance redressal system,” said Yogesh Mishra, head of a dialogue programme in Praja.
A senior civic official requesting anonymity said that the pandemic was one of the reasons that the time taken to solve some of the civic issues increased after 2020. “After March 2020, all the civic staffers were deployed in Covid duty and there was not adequate manpower to address certain areas. The situation worsened during the second wave in 2021 which lasted till the monsoon season of that year. These are the reasons why many civic issues that were not related to Covid took longer time to resolve during that period,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
The data also showed that in the past few years, complaints related to some of the basic civic issues have also declined by a severe margin. In 2019 the BMC recorded 15,239 complaints related to roads which eventually came down to 6,908 in 2020 and rose again to 7,475 in 2021. The civic body also recorded 15,507 complaints related to water supply in 2019, followed by 11,855 complaints in 2020 and 10,981 complaints in 2021.
Meanwhile, issues like pest control and pollution level have increased post-pandemic. In 2019, the civic body recorded 7,501 issues related to pest control, which eventually increased to 10,971 in 2020 and 7,785 in 2021.
Similarly, the BMC CCRS recorded 269 pollution-related complaints in 2019 which eventually increased to 424 in 2021.
“The data suggests that while the number of complaints in certain areas has declined in past few years, the number of complaints related to certain issues has also increased. This could be possible because citizens can now register to complain easily, the grievance registration platform has improved and at the same time, the citizens may have lost faith in certain areas of the BMC and don’t wish to register complaints related to those factors like roads and drainage because the problems pertinent to these factors still exist,” said Milind Mhaske, CEO of the foundation.