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News : Manual Complaints Flood Tech-based Grievance Redressal System
Bengaluru, India, May 11, 2016 -- Janahita, India's tech-based grievance redressal system launched in Karnataka four months ago, registered an overwhelming 81,394 complaints till Tuesday noon, of which 72,918 have been marked resolved. However, complainants are yet to tap the tech advantages the system has to offer.
The web-based system is available to citizens from 213 urban local bodies (ULBs) in Karnataka, excepting for the BBMP. The facility allows citizens to file complaints pertaining to a range of civic issues like overflowing drains, uncleared garbage and stray menace through a helpline, on Janahita website or through WhatsApp or Twitter.
However, most citizens still seem to prefer visiting offices of civic authorities and writing down their complaint. So far, 59,479 complaints have been lodged manually and 8,955 raised through calls to the helpline; 2,294 plaints were filed on Janahita's website, 665 WhatsApped and 27 uploaded on its Facebook page. The system's Twitter handle is yet to receive complaints.
Officials say the tech platforms haven't seen a good response due to poor publicity. "We are still waiting for an official launch. We'll try and push the citizens to use WhatsApp and Twitter. But, before that, we have to educate the ULBs in a structured way. As of now, we are encouraging them to register their complaints through the call centre, which can be recorded and acted upon," said N Manjula, director of Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA)
The system was launched by the Karnataka State Municipal Reforms Cell (KSMRC) of the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) on February 4 without much fanfare.
Janahita follows the Sakala pattern of grievance redressal. A complaint that's not resolved within the specified time period comes to the notice of higher officials across the state, its status and the complainant's contact details showing up on the website's dashboard.
The timeframe to address specific complaints is fixed based on the Karnataka Municipal Act 1968. For instance, defunct streetlights have to be fixed in two days.
Said BN Varaprasad Reddy, joint director, municipal reforms cell: "The system is such that once a complaint is registered, it's uploaded on the website of the respective ULBs. Resolution of every complaint is endorsed by the head of the municipality and uploaded on the site. The dashboard keeps track of the complaints at all levels and we have a system of verifying with complainants if their problem has been addressed. This also builds a sense of competition among ULBs to sort out as many issues as possible."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, May 12, 2016