If an individual is apathetic to a problem or reacts late to an important issue,he or she is taunted with words,zopa kadha (remain fast sleep) in local parlance. And these words seem to sit tightly on the shoulders of residents in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Two months after the SMS Grievance Redressal System was launched by the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation,it has received to say the least poor response in a town which boasts of a population of close to 15 lakh.
Every day the PCMC computer department receives barely three-to-four complaints. Since the system was launched,around 150 complaints have been received and the PCMC claims that it has resolved 125 of them. But some of the complaints are personal or irrelevant. They are not civic issues, says Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma.
Though Sharma claims that three-four complaints in a day are not bad,the harsh truth is that every gulli,chawl,building or society in Pimpri-Chinchwad has dime a dozen complaints. Every day,you will bump into groups of citizens discussing a bad road or a cooperative society residents grieving about piling garbage. Stinking public toilets is another major problem. And residents,especially those,living in chawls,have a strong grouse against the state of public toilets where either doors are missing or broken,commodes have been smashed,water is not available or the toilet blocks have not been cleaned for days.
Despite their heart and pockets overflowing with complaints,the residents either seem to be unaware of the PCMCs SMS Grievance Redressal System or not interested in making a complaint. Some of them also seem to be afraid of local corporators who,the citizens feel,might take it out on them for complaining. When The Indian Express spoke to a cross-section of citizens,hardly anybody knows that such a system does exist. Ahey ka ashi system…(Does such a system exist?,) asks Kathak exponent Nandkishore Kapote. I have no clue about the SMS Grievance Redressal System, he adds. Hema Joshi,a resident of Chinchwad and a purchase executive with a private firm,always has a complaint to make about civic issues,but is least aware of SMS system. Aisa system hain kay?, she asks. Mala mahitach nahi ashi system ahey…(I didnt know such a system exists), says Tejaswini Jadhav,who runs a computer institute in Kasarwadi. Tejaswini wants a public toilet demolished in Kasarwadi. The public toilet has become a big nuisance for women who pass by it. It has an atrocious location. I expect the commissioner to seriously look into this, says the housewife. Shilpa Palaskar,an accounts executive from Indrayani Nagar,feigns complete ignorance about the complaint system.
Classical dancer Tejashree Adige of Pradhikaran,My father-in-law generally makes a complaint by directly going to the PCMC headqaurters. Socialite Saroj Rao says,No,I did not notice information about the launch of the system in newspapers. Sanjay Shirke of Indrayani Nagar too has similiar opinon. And so does former Chinchwad corporator Uma Khapre.
But A R Sathyanarayan,a retired income tax officer from Pradhikaran,made one complaint after another,but is awaiting PCMC response. I SMSed about water accumulation in a tunnel near D Y Patil College in Akurdi. Its been two months no action has been taken, he says. Commissioner Sharma said he had told PCNTDA to get the road done. Since it involves a major work,tenders have been floated for the purpose. By next month,things will be set right, he said.
D G Baliga,a resident of Pimpri,says,I know about the system,but I am wary of sending the complaint. Because I feel the PCMC will give out my number and name against whom I have made a complaint.