'One in three complaints to MCD about stray menace'

As the sanitary inspector of the city, the municipal corporations exist to ensure quality services to the citizens. An NGO, however, reveals that one in every three complaints are related to the issue of nuisance caused by stray dogs, monkeys and other animals.

“Complaints regarding this issue form the second highest number of complaints. It may seem ironic that this is one of the main issues facing the capital of the country,” states a white paper released by NGO Praja Foundation.

According to data complied through RTIs, the highest numbers of complaints were on solid waste management with 9,636 of 31,551 complaints.

“It was followed by nuisance due to stray animals with 9,161 complaints. Civic agency staff also removed dead animals in 3,928 complaints, while they were called for only 3,634 drainage complaints,” Praja Foundation Managing Trustee Nitai Mehta said.

One in 25 complaints was on the issue of pest control.

The report further highlighted that the main role of a municipal councillor is to deliberate – but when 28 councillors out of 272 do not raise a single issue in the ward committees, governance clearly suffers.

“For better governance, councillors need to become more assertive in this aspect and ensure that proactive steps are taken to improve implementation,” Mehta added.

Project Director Milind Mhaske told Deccan Herald that by deliberating more on these issues, proper planning can take place, leading to higher impact on the lives of citizens.

The data was collected by filing RTIs to all 12 zones of the municipal corporations as well as the East Delhi Municipal Corporation head office for the data from the online complaint system.

The RTIs reveal that Rohini zone (North Delhi Municipal Corporation) has the highest number of complaints registered with 5,438 complaints followed by Civil Lines zone (NDMC) with 4,866 complaints.

“City zone (NDMC) and Paharganj zone (NDMC) show the least number of complaints with 556 and 1,029 complaints respectively,” Mhaske added.

The maximum number of complaints registered on unauthorised construction is in Karol Bagh zone (NDMC) with 3,449 complaints, while the least number of complaints was in Narela (NDMC) with only 363 complaints.

Riddled with flaws
The grievance redressal mechanism of the municipal corporations is riddled with flaws, says the NGO.

Complaints maintained in a register are handwritten by the officers, making them illegible at times. Of the total 31,551 complaints analysed through RTIs by Praja Foundation, some 1,165 could not even be understood.

“Tracking numbers for the complaints are not in order on number of occasions, creating a lot of confusion. We have only taken six months’ worth of data for complaints. This is mainly because we found that the database is not maintained on a technological platform,” the NGO said.

Highlighting the gaps, Mhaske said the entire mechanism requires an overhaul.
He highlighted that adopting a centralised system will mean that the complaints are recorded and maintained in a proper format, making them easier to track.

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