Surat Municipal Corporation’s online complaint system mocks city residents!

Surat :  Rakesh Patel, a resident of Athwagate thought the online complaint mechanism of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) would help remove illegal encroachment by the shops and buildings on the main road from Athwagate to Nanpura.

Due to the encroachments, it was difficult for the pedestrians to walk on the road. To his surprise, the online complaint returned with a reply from the concerned officer stating that instructions have been given to the concerned department and issue will be resolved shortly.

“Six months have passed since then, nobody from the municipal corporation has visited to remove the illegal encroachment on the main road from Athwagate Jain Dehrasar to Nanpura. The entire footpath from Athwagate to Nanpura has been encroached and there is no space for the pedestrians to walk on the main road. If this is the online complaint redressal system, then it is a mockery of the denizens,” said Patel.

Patel is not an isolated case in the diamond city. Tens of hundreds of denizens are upset with the approach of the junior civic officers for closing the online complaints without resolving the same. Majority of the online complaints are replied with the ‘stereotyped’ reply “Your complaint will be solved shortly’.

Rajesh Modi, RTI activist has been on the forefront from the last couple of years and that he is raising the issue of the online complaint mechanism to the senior authorities. Much to his dismay, the authorities are not interested in solving the problems faced by the residents.

Talking with TBT, Rajesh Modi said, “I have written numerous letters to the municipal commissioner for strengthening the online complaint mechanism and help the residents. It is the duty of the officer concerned, to whom the complaint is assigned, to reply the complainant with the action taken report. Instead, the officer would tender a simple reply stating that the complaint will be solved shortly”

Modi has written to municipal commissioner, Banchhanidhi Pani stating that scores of his complaints have literally been dumped by the respective zone officials without taking any action whatsoever. The zonal officer of South West Zone (SWZ), MD Chavda has expertise of closing the complaint without taking action.

“I have demanded that the right for closing the complaint should remain with the complainant citizen. Civic officers have to ensure that the denizens are satisfied with the action taken by the respective department” said Modi.