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Make a civic complaint, get an SMS from BMC

If you have been a victim of the sluggish, and at times half-hearted, attitude of the complaint redressal system of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), then in four months time you can expect some good news.

With an aim to get citizen- friendly, the civic body is going ahead with the development of a software that will acknowledge the complaint you made, and then swiftly reply to it through an SMS on your mobile. 

Moreover, if citizens are unhappy with the reply, they can complain again. This time, the grievance will be forwarded to a senior officer, and will be dealt with on a priority basis.

Currently citizens can lodge complaints related to solid waste management, drainage, roads, water supply, pest control, and encroachment via three methods. You have the option of filling in an online complaint registration form, or by visiting the nearest Citizen Facilitation Center (CFC), or by calling the toll free number 1916. The complaint is then assigned to and processed by the concerned ward’s assistant engineer. 

Although they have an online facility to check complaint status, there is no mechanism that enables complainants to get a reply about the registration of their grievance. The SMS system aims to override that inadequacy, according to BMC officials. 

“Yes, we are developing the software that will reply to citizens through an SMS,” said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner. 

The civic disaster control room receives about 150 complaints a day, and over 50,000 in a year, pertaining to illegal constructions, water contamination, unattended garbage bins, potholes and choked drains. According to civic authorities, majority of them relate to illegal constructions, and though over 85 per cent complaints get resolved, citizens are unhappy with the redressal rate.

“Civic employees only follow procedure, they do not actually redress the problem. The control room department is clueless. They simply say that the complaint is being attended to by the ward officials concerned,” said A S Mahajan, resident of Chembur, who had filed a complaint about low-pressure water supply, a few months ago. 

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