Mumbai: Citizens and civic experts have time and again emphasized upon the need for the BMC to improve civic services offered to Mumbaikars. Finally paying heed to it, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta on Saturday held an impromptu session with the 24 administrative ward officials, asking all of them to speak for 10 minutes each, giving suggestions to improve services in the country’s richest civic body.
Since Mehta took over the reins of the BMC in April, he has been having a meeting with ward level officials on the first Saturday of every month.
However, on November 7, instead of the usual review meeting, each official was asked to speak on how transparency, efficiency and citizens services could be improved in the BMC.
“Each of the 24 officials came up with a variety of suggestions. By the end, the commissioner had almost 80 suggestions which included having additional citizen facilitation centres (CFC) at larger wards in Mumbai, improving public interaction of grassroots level staff like junior engineers with citizens and having unique identification numbers for BMC structures in the city,” said a civic official.
The situation of civic governance in the city has been dodgy for a while and as per a report released by NGO Praja in April this year, in 2014, the BMC took 17 days on an average to attend to a complaint as compared to 2013 where they took 11 days. In fact, detailed statistics indicated that replacement of missing/damaged manholes took maximum amount of time — 21 days —while time taken to attend to contaminated water supply complaints was 16 days.
“Nobody is sure when a particular complaint to the civic body related to any department will be resolved. BMC is the biggest service provider and several times even serious civic issues are conveniently ignored,” said activist Nikhil Desai.