Even as the citizens of Mumbai seem to be most unhappy with the bad condition of roads as the municipal corporation received maximum number of complaints in this regard last year, renaming of roads still tops the list of questions raised by corporators in the civic body. Praja Foundation, a voluntary organisation, had conducted a survey in 2013 which revealed that as far as civic issues are concerned, Mumbaikars are most concerned about the condition of roads, followed by the problems relating to drainage and solid waste management.
"The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in 2013 received as many as 42,287 complaints on roads, followed by 12,708 complaints on drainage and 5,519 on solid waste management. These were the top three complaints made by the citizens to the civic body," Milind Mhaske, project director at Praja told reporters here.
He said that the civic body received 1,02,829 complaints in 2013, registering a rise of 10.3 per cent as compared to the previous year. Complaints on roads have increased by 41.1 per cent, while the drainage complaints decreased by 21.5 per cent in 2013. Complaints related to water supply have also decreased by 2.3 per cent in 2013.
Of the 65,913 complaints registered under Central Complaint Registration System (CCRS) analysed by Praja, the civic body managed to close only 44 per cent of the complaints in 2013, Mhaske said.
According to Mhaske, a new pothole-tracking system developed by the MCGM enables people to register a complaint through a mobile app. "However, with the earlier system complaints could be tracked and a report could be generated, but with the new app, the complainant cannot track the stages that the complaint goes through.
Therefore, all complaint portals should be integrated with CCRS so that the complaint can be tracked. Only then citizens will participate more actively using grievance systems and pressurise the BMC to provide better civic facilities," Mhaske said. He also informed that the corporators from 227 electoral wards in Mumbai had asked only 141 questions related to roads in ward committee meetings, while the maximum number of questions asked by them were about renaming of roads.
"A total of 147 questions were asked on the renaming of roads," he said.
Mhaske added that out of 227 corporators, 19 did not ask even a single question in any of the ward committee meetings held by the MCGM in 2013. "As per the data collected by Praja Foundation, seven corporators did not ask even a single question during the entire two years since they were elected," he added.
Founder Trustee of Praja, Nitai Mehta, said, "Year after year, renaming of roads seems to be their top agenda to tackle the civic problems in their wards." "Corporators need to study the civic issues in their wards and follow up regularly with the administration and demand answers. This will strengthen the functioning of ward committee meetings," she said.
According to Mhaske, the BMC failed to answer 34 per cent point of order questions asked by the corporators.