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Stuck in bureaucratic red tape, civic body fails to live up to expectations

HT visits govt offices in Gurgaon and reports the ground situation,

india Updated: Apr 03, 2012 01:04 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times

Even after waiting for six hours under the scorching sun, 72-year-old Nirmala Devi (name changed) was unsure if she would get her monthly old age pension of Rs 750.

It was her second visit to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) office and chances are it won't be her last.

At the beginning of every month, thousands of senior citizens throng the Old Gurgaon office, opposite the civil hospital, to collect their pension.

“Yesterday, the officer told me aap kal aayeega (you come tomorrow). Today, I have been waiting from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Nearly 15,000 elderly women come to collect their pension from distant places,” Devi said.

Most other visitors too complained of callous attitude on part of the officers and their dilly-dallying techniques.

On an average, 40-50 people visit the MCG office daily for getting birth, marriage and death certificates and most return empty-handed.

“Kal aayeega seems to have become the pet dialogue of MCG officials as they don't even consider the persons’ age and health condition,” said a senior citizen waiting in the long queue.

“We have come here to collect our marriage certificate but the man at the citizens' facility counter told us to come on Monday. We have no option but to take leave from office and come again,” rued a couple.

People living in colonies which are maintained by the municipal corporation are also not satisfied with the quality of work.

They claim officials turn a deaf ear when residents complain. “We met our area engineer and requested him to repair two streetlights. It has been 15 days but no action has been taken yet. The official asked us to approach the MCG councillor who says he doesn't have the power to undertake such activities,” said SP Goel, a resident of Madanpuri.

According to a rough estimate, 300-500 people visit MCG offices (both old and new) and 70% people return dissatisfied. And this when the corporation has a big team more than 900 employees.

MCG commissioner Sudhir Rajpal told Hindustan Times that he has drawn a plan to improve sanitation as well as make other arrangements like washrooms, drinking water and proper seats for visitors.

“I have asked my officers to make an estimate and submit a report to me,” said Rajpal.

First Published: Apr 03, 2012 00:47 IST