Why citizen-govt interactions should evolve with time

With changing times, Bangalore became Bengaluru. But the citizens are still waiting for the day when Bangalore One will be the one centre that will facilitate citizen-government interactions in earnest.

When DH contacted a few citizens for their opinion on Bangalore One centres, maximum responses were negative. A few said the employees at the centres need proper training.

Sadhananda Murthy Shastry, a resident of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, was very happy when the first Bangalore One centre opened in his locality. But now, he is equally unhappy after seeing long queues early in the morning.

“I think all the government agencies are like this. I thought its the one stop to address all our needs. To pay a single bill they take at least 15 minutes. So what is the purpose of this? It’s impossible for senior citizens to go to various outlets to pay various bills. Also, the employees need thorough training before they meet the customers,” Shastry said.

 Standing in the long line at a Bangalore One centre in Ittamadu, Satish M V, a businessman said the government have burdened the employees with multiple services. “A thorough testing of the services needs to be done before going live. With poor internet connection and outdated systems, the employees’ lives are miserable. As we cannot shout at the employees, we will return by cursing the governmental bodies for the situation. It’s better if the government restarted the service with updated systems,” Satish said.

Other citizens also expressed similar opinions and said instead of burdening the people and employees by announcing multiple resources, let the government restart the service by announcing a single integrated system.

A former employee of Bangalore One alleged the lack of coordination among senior officials manning the centres is leading to a mess, which made him give up the job and start his own service station in South Bengaluru.

Requesting anonymity, the former employee said, “Without our knowledge people used to turn up at the centres demanding new services, which we were not aware of. Especially services like property tax, insurance and BBMP services among others. Without gauging the ground reality the government used to announce services, which leads to prolonged exchange of words with customers almost everyday. Fed up with all that, I gave up the job. I think the only solution is to improve the facilities for the employees. The lack of coordination should be addressed, too.”

DH spoke to a homemaker, a resident of Kumaraswamy Layout, who raised the issue of payments. She responded: “Besides long queues and less manpower, the mode of payment is another headache we are facing. Like all outlets, there is also the problem of tendering exact change here. The swiping machine provided to make e-payments is another mess. It takes 20 minutes to accept a single bill payment. As they cannot tender exact change, the employees offer the option of including the balance during the next billing cycle, which usually will not reflect. So, in this regard, I have lost a lot of money.”

The basic amenities at Bangalore One centres are also another concern raised by most citizens. Though being a public place, it lacks toilets, drinking water, facilities for disabled and senior citizens, crowd control and others. “They have provided seating, but its of no use when there is a long queue. How can they expect us to stand?” asked Girijamma, a resident of Katriguppe. “I think if the technical issues are sorted and proper training is given, then the problem will be solved,” she said. 

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Why citizen-govt interactions should evolve with time

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