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At Chandigarh’s new integrated call centre, complaints resolved on papers only

The helpline was inaugurated two months ago by Municipal Commissioner KK Yadav and a new complaint number (0172-278720) was launched. A timeline has been set for different problems, which are supposed to be resolved in the specified time.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | November 30, 2020 10:18:19 am
Chandigarh, Chandigarh news, Chandigarh call centre, Chandigarh complaint helpline number, Indian ExpressThe integrated call centre was supposed to cater grievance management, online building permissions and others. (Representational Image)

What happens when a city resident gets complaint about a civic issue lodged at the new integrated call centre’s helpline? The issue is resolved on paper, but no action is taken on the ground. The Indian Express, through different residents, sent complaints of local civic issues that required redressal. Interestingly, in a majority of the cases barring one, residents received messages that the complaint had been resolved, even when they were not.

The helpline was inaugurated two months ago by Municipal Commissioner KK Yadav and a new complaint number (0172-278720) was launched. A timeline has been set for different problems, which are supposed to be resolved in the specified time.

AK Prashar, President, Sector 43 Resident Welfare Awareness, registered two complaints for water stagnation and drain blockage in front of a house in Sector 43B, on November 21.

Prashar received a message stating the issue had been assigned to the official. Surprisingly, even before the issue was addressed, he received a message on November 26, saying the problem had been addressed. “The concerned JE neither visited the site, nor tried to contact me. When I tried to contact them there was no response. Surprisingly, without attending to the complaint at all, on November 26, I received a message that complaint regarding stagnation of water has been resolved. I have to get the complaint registered again as the problem still stands,” he said.

On the second complaint, Prashar received a message stating the complaint was rejected. “They rejected it with no reason. Both these complaints have not yet been addressed by the Municipal Corporation,” he said.

Surjit Singh Sidhu, Secretary, Government Houses RWS, Sector 22 lodged a complaint about street lights in his area not working for the last two months. Stating that he registered several complaints on both the old and no helpline, the matter was not resolved. He registered a fresh complaint on November 22, but even as the stipulated time of redressal is over, there is no redressal.

“One of the street lights of our neighbourhood has not been working for the last two months. On November 22, we lodged complaint on the MC helpline and the national portal of EESL. Till date there is no resolution. They said redressal of such problems happens within three days, but the issue has not been resolved,” Sidhu added.

A complaint of pruning of tree branches was lodged by Sanjeev Bansal, President of Sector 45 Resident Welfare Association. Bansal stated the bent branches could harm people and even damage vehicles in a light storm. He received message of redressal even the branches were not pruned.

“The MC never takes any action on any complaint. They don’t follow the norms of citizen charter. What is the point of a Right to Service Act, when the problem doesn’t have to be resolved? After lodging complaint, we received a complaint registration message. After two days I received a message saying it complaint had been resolved, but no action was taken,” Bansal said.

Subhash Chand Gupta, President of the Sector 29 Resident Welfare Association registered a complaint of road full of potholes on November 25. He is still waiting for a response from the officials.

Davinder Kaur, a widow residing at Sangam Enclave, Sector 48RWA was shocked when she received a water bill of Rs 8,723 on November 19. All her previous bills were of fixed water consumption of 100 KL. After registering several complaints and finding no respite, she visited the water supply department to get her complaint addressed. The faulty meter was removed from her house only last week, but she awaits correction in her water bill. MC Commissioner KK Yadav was sent queries about the issue. He did not respond to calls and messages.

Only one complaint resolved

“I had lodged a complaint on November 25 regarding garbage dumping near Tender Heart School, Sector 33. This is the first time a complaint has been taken seriously and the garbage was removed within 15 hours. I appreciate the service,” said Kuljinder Sra, General Secretary, Sector 33 RWA.

Residents demand better coordination between MMC wings

After a two-week wait for sanitary staff from MC’s MOH wing to lift stashed garbage, residents of Sector 22 had to lodge a complaint on Sunday.

“Another big issue is of garbage vulnerable points. Road inert collected after daily street sweeping stays at the roadsides, awaiting collection by MC vehicles for weeks. There was a garbage dump in our neighbourhood park; no one came to clear it for the last two weeks. Finally, we have raised a complaint today. The MC should have a surveillance system as well, and should not just on phone calls from residents,” said Jagrup Singh, Advisor of Sector 22 RWA.

“Many civic issues over various parts of the city are either closed without resolution due to lack co-ordination between MCC wings or are delayed inordinately. The MCC should have an internal forwarding system, escalation and tracking of all open flagged cases,” said Vinod Vashisht, Convener, CFORWO (City Forum of Residents Welfare Organizations).

Motive behind launching new helpline

The integrated call centre was supposed to cater grievance management, online building permissions and others.

It was said that the request to the call centre will be allocated to aa field officer in real time and the complainant will receive an SMS, with unique ID of the complaint, which can be used to track the complaint. It was specified that in case complaint is not attended by field officers, it will automatically go to higher officials.

Meanwhile, all previous complaint numbers, including 155304, had been closed.

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