For the Crater Good

It’s common knowledge that Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) (Namma Bengaluru) Sahaaya app can leave you feeling helpless. Complaints get closed without the problem getting resolved.

After many complaints about the app, the Palike is in the process of improving the back-end system where its employees from a separate call centre facility will call the complainant to check the status of the complaint before closing it.

“We are coming up with new features to ensure a better response mechanism. Henceforth, the complaints will not be closed before getting a confirmation from the complainant on the status of his or her grievance. We are also launching a unique system where people can register complaints or suggestions on WhatsApp,” said Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner (IT) at BBMP. Another feature introduced in the ‘Sahaaya 2.0’ platform is that the complaints will automatically be escalated to the next level of the BBMP hierarchy, whenever they are not attended to on time.

During a recent review meeting chaired by BBMP Administrator Gaurav Gupta and Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, the officials came up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for addressing complaints. Calling the complainant before closing case is now mandatory.

Henceforth, complaints will not be closed before getting a confirmation from the complainant on the status of his or her grievance. People can register complaints or suggestions on WhatsApp

– Rajendra Cholan, Special Commissioner (IT) at BBMP

Over the last seven months, the Sahaaya has received about 82,163 complaints from citizens. Officials say they have resolved about 91 per cent of the complaints (74,970), while about 6,000 are pending. As many as 4,335 complaints have been escalated to higher officers. A majority of the complaints are related to solid waste, road maintenance and electrical (street lights). The BBMP also receives complaints on OFC cables

, parks and playgrounds, lakes, health and sanitation.

Going by the zonal classification of the complaints, Bommanahalli and Mahadevapura zones have been actively using the web or mobile applications to lodge complaints. Zones such as Dasarahalli, Yelahanka and South have seen minimal complaints.

Murali Govindarajulu, a resident of Hagadur, said the escalation feature was already there but the complaint was getting closed before it was attended to. “It has happened to me several times. The response system by the solid waste management and the electrical division is quite good. The engineering department is the worst when it comes to filling potholes and repairing broken slabs,” he said.


VK Srivatsa, a resident of Hemmigepura, said, “Whenever the council gets dissolved and the election comes up, our complaints get addressed immediately. The response is poor after the elections are over.”

Citizens, who regularly use the Sahaaya app to make complaints, also said that they are facing issues when it comes to providing the exact location.

“Some engineers attend to the complaints. In some cases, they say the road or defunct streetlight does not come in their ward. Many cases are closed stating that they fall under long-term solution category. Earlier, there was a feature to re-open the case. Now, it is not available,” Sandeep H.M, a resident of Hanu-manth Nagar said.

Anil Kumar Janardhana, from Jalahalli West, said he has registered over 200 cases. “I consider it a social service. About 50 per cent of the cases were attended to. I had raised problems such as no street lights and the filthy condition of abandoned toilet. These are still not resolved although my complaint has been closed,” he said.

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Sagar Biswas

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