Mumbai civic body report card: 43% more plaints in 2 years
A report released by non-governmental organisation Praja Foundation on Tuesday found a 43% percent rise in the number of complaints registered between 2016 and 2018, with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The maximum number of complaints were against the buildings department.
The data analysed by Praja Foundation is from the BMC’s Central Complaints Registration System (CCRS), which records complaints filed against different departments within the civic body. To the civic body’s credit, the average number of days to answer a point of order in ward committee meetings has gone down from 374 days in 2014 to 61 days in 2018. However, the total number of citizen complaints has gone up to 1, 16,658 in 2018 as compared to 81,555 in 2016 and 92,329 in 2017.
Project director Milind Mhaske said, “The steady spike in the number of complaints also means that the there is increased distrust and dissatisfaction among people with regard to the services provided by the BMC. The hike in complaints has also increased the time taken to solve those complaints.” The highest spike was an 82% increase in the number of complaints to the water supply department in 2018 compared to 2017.
In terms of complaint closure in 2018, Bandra, Colaba and Kandivli reported more than 99% closures. The worst performing wards were Dadar, Dahisar and Mulund where less than 50% complaints were addressed.
Mhaske said that councillors should be made responsible for the complaints filed. “If every complaint gets a councillor code, then the councillor can question the concerned officer regarding the complaints too. This data will also help him understand the problems in his areas and the promotion/demotion of officers can also be backed by data which is not happening right now,” he said.
Despite an 82% attendance at 519 ward committee meetings held between March 2017 and December 2018, only 3.6 questions were asked per meeting.
The report also found that as of December 2018, the BMC is facing a staff shortage. The most vacancies were found in disaster management (67%), sewerage project (61%), water supply project (56%), and garden and recreation (52%) departments.