Day after BMC launches chatbot to register complaints about solid waste, citizens say it is not functioning; civic officials say they are updating the system
A picture of the garbage at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg near Wadala Railway station about which Nikhil Desai tried to lodge a complaint
The chatbot the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) started to register complaints about solid waste, has not worked since it was launched on Monday. Activists claim it was just a publicity stunt. BMC officials, however, said they are updating the system and it will restart in two to three days.
After Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s order, the BMC started an online complaint system for solid waste management on June 5. But people have been unable to register complaints through the chatbot. “I tried to file a complaint about garbage on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road near Wadala railway station. However, it did not get lodged. It seems the chatbot is just a publicity stunt. If the civic administration is not ready with a system, then why do they announce it?” said Nikhil Desai, an activist from Matunga, on Tuesday.
A BMC official said that the facility was being upgraded. “After the complaints are received from citizens and resolved, the related information will be given to citizens. Chatbots will also be added to the entire existing complaint redressal system. Also, this system has to be connected to many officials. It may take another two to three days for all this,” said a BMC official.
Civic activist Anil Galgali said this is an example of how BMC works. “Officers declare new schemes or facilities, but nothing is done on ground level. Lots of BMC schemes only run on paper. If solid waste
lies on the roads during monsoon there is a possibility of disease spreading. This grievance system could be helpful during the monsoon. I hope BMC starts it soon,” he added.