Citizens across the country face major problems in reporting civic issues to the relevant Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). The scenario is gradually changing now, thanks to technological intervention. The intervention — smart apps — may be a setback for officials who have a habit of passing the buck, but for citizens, it’s a welcome change.
For example, ULBs like Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) are encouraging citizens to use smart apps for lodging complains on civic services.
BMC uses an app developed by the Centre under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The app, named ‘Swachhata’, enables citizens to post their complaints related to sanitation and hygiene in their areas. In addition, the app will also help in tracking their complaints.
Recently, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) formulated an initiative by developing an app called ‘Bhubaneswar One’ that enables citizens to know everything about the city — from locations of the hotels, healthcare centres and government offices, to knowing the status of various online services provided to the citizens. The app is being developed jointly by the BDA and National Informatics Centre Services Inc (Nicsi), a Central government department.
Sanitary inspectors and other officers take images of garbage on their smartphones and send them to the concerned sanitation supervisor. After removing the garbage, the supervisor shares the photograph with his seniors for compliance.
Meanwhile, the TMC is taking the cleanliness campaign rather seriously. Residents will not have to go all the way to ward offices to lodge a complaint. The civic authority’s app, ‘Janagraha’, can help citizens take snaps of dirty areas and upload them. As part of the Swachh Bharat drive, any complaints lodged through this app will directly reach the concerned officials.
According to , Public Relations Officer, TMC, “Officers will be held responsible for the undone work in their respective wards.”
If residents see garbage anywhere in the city, if the garbage disposal van has not reached an area, or if roads or neighbourhood has not been swept, residents can take a picture and transmit it through this app. Action will be immediately taken by the sanitation inspector of the area. Here, residents will know the status of their complaints on this application.
Apart from complaints of garbage, residents can also complain if they come across a dead animal, if public toilets are unclean, or the doors or lights are broken. Last year, the corporation had launched a similar application to fill potholes as it had been getting hundreds of complaints during the monsoon over the last two years.