mid day editorial: Ignoring citizens' complaints is negligence

Updated: Dec 25, 2018, 07:29 IST | mid-day online desk

A report in this paper stated that local activists had been filing repeated complaints about illegal construction in the area, but BMC allegedly didn't pay any attention to them

The collapse of a two-storey under-construction structure on Sunday morning killed at least three people in Goregaon's Motilal Nagar area. Six people were also injured in the incident.

A report in this paper stated that local activists had been filing repeated complaints about illegal construction in the area, but BMC allegedly didn't pay any attention to them.

A slab of the ground-plus-two structure collapsed, trapping workers in the debris. One activist in the report claimed that he had been filing complaints about illegal construction in the area, but little heed was paid by civic authorities. We now need to have a thorough investigation of this case in particular, and look at the area in general, since activists have been claiming that the entire area may have problems when it comes to these structures.

The authorities could have taken a proactive approach and started checking the structures mentioned to them in complaints. It is of no use telling citizens to be more vigilant and responsible for their community and city, if the powers that be ignore complaints when they are filed. This is hugely demoralising for ordinary people, who may have seen the red flags and reported them, but then find that their concerns are paid no heed at all.

One agrees that every single complaint may not merit an investigation. Some may simply hold no water. Yet, it is worth checking out when alarms are raised regularly. The activist or complainant, if not anonymous, should be taken into confidence. If the basis of the complaint is sound, then officials must take action after a well thought-out procedure is put in place. Today is the age of citizen journalism and activism, more power and encouragement to them.

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