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Poor response to pothole app, BMC looks at BB, FB

Civic body wants to target BlackBerry and Facebook users due to lack of interest, also wants public to report on other civic issues through the mobile application

Potholes rile commuters in the city. But after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) took cognizance of the menace and launched its pothole-tracking mobile application for people to complain about potholes, the civic body is now grumbling about the poor response received from the public. 




Hold-up: The poor response has led the civic body to decide that the 
software should be used by citizens for complaining about other civic 
problems as well when they traverse the city. representation pics

It's been two months since the civic authority sanctioned the Rs 60-lakh pothole-tracking software. During this period it received only 155 complaints and images of potholes in the city. (Presently, citizens click pictures of potholes from their Android phones and upload it on the BMC website -- www.voiceofcitizen.com) 
The poor response has led them to decide that the software should be used for complaining about other civic problems when people traverse the city. Data, when taken from large number of phones, could give an accurate look at the problems. "When the software can get you details of any kind of transgression with just a few clicks from your phone then it should be encouraged. Why should it only be restricted to potholes when there are other problems evident in the city?" said Aseem Gupta, additional municipal commissioner. 

Seeing potential in projects like these that mine data collected from phones to provide better public services, the commissioner further mentioned the application would soon be available for BlackBerry phone users too.
Meanwhile, the application, which is currently only available on Android phones, has been gaining momentum among people according to the developers of the application. "Although a bit more awareness is needed, people are installing the software after browsing through the tutorials," said Shantanu Kulkarni, director of Probity Solutions, the software firm in charge of the project. He added they would experiment via Facebook soon so that more people can report the nuisance.

Lax civic activism 
Out of the 155 complaints received via the website, maximum complaints came in from M-East ward which numbered 36, while A-ward received 11. Citizens of H-West ward have not reported anything in the past two months. 

Pothole update
Additional Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta said, "The work on the Rs 8- crore contracts for fixing up the roads is almost complete. 99 % of the work has been done." 

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