A mobile app developed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for reporting unauthorised construction in the capital has closed or resolved less than 5% of the complaints received over the last 40 days.
The DDA received 1,723 complaints on its app, DDA-311, developed for users to report illegal structures and unauthorised constructions, out of which 40 complaints have been resolved and 43 closed so far, according to data given by the agency on Monday. The app went live on July 9.
The most number of complaints, 759, were received on properties under the jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipal Corporation, of which 22 cases have been closed or resolved.
There were 344 cases under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and 97 under the East civic body, of which 10 have been closed or resolved in each.
There are 282 cases under the DDA, of which 28 have been resolved. Of the 115 cases under the New Delhi Municipal Council, seven have been closed.
The Special Task Force constituted to clear encroachments in the capital has formed a grid of officers whose duty is to resolve cases of unauthorised constructions.
The grid comprises over 30 engineering-level officials from DDA; south, east and north corporations as well as the New Delhi Municipal Council; Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board.
A senior official of the South corporation said, “We were initially facing problems because there was confusion over how to transfer cases from the headquarter to the zonal levels, because the engineers and officials on the ground are the ones taking action. The complaints were sent to the officials in a hard copy form… this is why action has been delayed.”
“However, officials have now been given training, after making some changes in the app. The complaint will now be directly routed to officials,” the official said.
In some cases, while the complaint pertains to one part of Delhi, it is made from another location, leading to confusion as the app uses geo coordinates.
An official of the east corporation said that in some cases, there is duplication of cases and frivolous complaints.
For instance, dumping of garbage is reported through the app, and complaint regarding unauthorised construction at a spot is made by multiple people.
DDA vice-chairman Udai Pratap Singh also said there is a problem of duplication.
“We first took action on encroachments that are big in nature, but there are also several cases where people have complained about their neighbour extending their boundary building in a canopy. In such cases, there is a procedure that is followed, which involves giving notices, and a time frame to pay the fine as well as remove the encroachment. If they don’t obey, agencies take action,” he said.