Tracking grievances a click away: BBMP


Umpteen calls to register a complaint of uncleared garbage or frustration at frequent trips to find if a 'file has moved' or 'missing' file found--- all could become a thing of the past, thanks to IT initiatives by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) that has helped track files and grievances registered at the click of a mouse.

The 'Less Paper Office (LPO)' deployed by the local civic body is a web-based package developed to help monitor the movement and pendency of letters or files and helps ease tracking of letters and files. The LPO is part of an ambitious programme launched by BBMP to enhance productivity, efficiency and ensure customer satisfaction by using IT solutions to address issues. "Now any letter submitted or files can now be tracked immediately, thanks to the new IT deployment", BBMP Commissioner Bharath Lal Meena told reporters.

The LPO, which was rolled out during the first phase in the corporation head office and is being used in 61 departments, enables movement of letters or files electronically from one section or department to another. "Files that have not moved for whatever reasons can be immediately tracked by this," he said, adding that it cuts down the scope of the need to grease palms. "The LPO can prepare a register of letters and files and a report on pending files. Queries provided for tracking a file can be answered in seconds", he said.

A complete movement history of a letter or file can be known, thus immediately adressing complaints of files not moving, said Meena. The package enables scanning details of letters or files and storage, eliminating the issue of files "going missing." "We can now track down which clerk or department was handling the files", he said. "The technology has helped usher in accountability" and expose any "bluffs" tendered by a civic employee who has been sitting on a file for too long or report missing files or not having received a file or letter. "An individual can now know exactly where his or her file currently lies and its status", he said.

The IT deployment was not just restricted to files and letters, but extended to ramping up the public grievance redressal system as well, said the civic commissioner. Getting BBMP on the 24x7 mode is the new state-of-the-art Public Grievance Redressal (PGR) System that ensures all complaints received are tracked and a definite resolution provided for the same in the least possible time, he said.

"The PGR System is a total integration of Voice, Data and SMs, which can ensure that the problem is recorded and then forwarded to the concerned office and definite response is taken within a stipulated time", he said. BBMP has tied up with Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS) to aid the call centre that takes in complaints through a helpline number.

Grievences received through the BBMP helpline are registered in the database through software with a special grievance docket number. The registered grievance is then forwarded to the concerned redressal officer. The response is also entered into the database, Meena said.  "Now through this software we can track down when a complaint was made, who forwarded it, what has been the response and how long it took to be addressed", said Meena.

The central monitoring also helps those heading the civic body like the Commissioner have a complete knowledge on the origin of complaints and grievances addressed. "Earlier, we had no idea where a call was made and what happened", he said. The idea is to promote "same day grievance redressal," if possible. The process-oriented automatic escalation process ensures that grievances reach the higher officer for immediate resolution if not resolved within a stipulated time frame by a lower official. Over 700 officials have been given walkies and mobiles to interact with the call centre by means of a wireless or SMS.

Call centre executives conversation can be recorded using the voice logger and these can be retreieved when required. Reports like zone-wise reports, grievance-wise reports, officer-wise reports and total registered grievances are generated online and graphical analysis of various reports are also embedded and can be accessed by the general public. "These IT rollouts are expected to significantly change the way the civic body functions and responds", he said.

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