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SMS garbage complaint service to stay as PMC terms trial a hit

After its SMS service to address the garbage problem was started on a trial basis, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) received about 150 messages from people in the city alerting it about refuse issues in their locality.

The SMS service, which allows citizens to message the PMC if they find waste littered around in their area, was made permanent on Saturday after noticing its success over the past 10 days.


Just text: People can now send the PMC a text message in the prescribed format to complain about refuse issues. Representation Pic

At the same time, PMC officials appealed to citizens to stick to the prescribed format for the SMS, as mentioned in the PMC website, for quick results.

“Initially the service was started on a trial basis and we got a huge response from citizens,” said head of solid waste management department Suresh Jagtap. “We used to receive an average of 15 messages daily complaining about garbage burning and overflowing refuse bins. Noticing this response from the people, we have decided to continue the service on a permanent basis after having a meeting with Mayor Vaishali Bankar.”

He said the service would make citizens alerts and help the PMC know whether civic employees were working efficiently. Currently, garbage cleaners working in two shifts. Considering the response of the citizens a night shift will soon be started, said PMC officials.

“As soon as an SMS is sent, it comes to me through the system and then I forward it to the sanitary inspector concerned for further action to be taken,” said Jagtap.

To check the efficiency of the system, MiD DAY sent a message to the PMC-assigned number and the complaint was registered. In the next few minutes, a call was received from the sanitary inspector and the divisional sanitary inspector of the area concerned, asking about the exact location of the spot where the garbage problem was noticed.

“Currently we have one garbage-carrying vehicle with each ward office in the city and as of now the vehicles are sufficient as we are working in only two shifts,” said Jagtap. “We will need more vehicles once we start the service in the night shift.” 

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