Rajkot to launch OTP-based grievance redressal system for residents

In 2008, RMC had set up a call centre to register citizens’ complaints on phone via around 30 services round the clock.

The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) will launch a toll-free telephone service for residents of the city on Thursday in its attempt to improve the grievance redressal system. In addition to lodging their complaints, residents will also get to mark their complaints resolved through the new service using a one-time password (OTP).

In the new system, a person will be able to register his complaints by dialling the toll-free number 18001231973. Once the complaint is registered, the complainant will get a confirmation of the same and subsequently an OTP. His/her complaint will be marked as solved only when the complainant gives feedback by punching in the OTP.

“As time goes by, we have to upgrade our systems and service-delivery mechanisms. Therefore, our EDP (electronic data processing) department has developed a new system of grievance redressal,” Pushkar Patel, chairman of the standing committee, RMC.

In 2008, RMC had set up a call centre to register citizens’ complaints on phone via around 30 services round the clock. Two years later, it also enabled an option for its citizens to register their complaints on the RMC website http://www.rmc.gov.in. In 2016, the civic body launched a smart-phone based application, giving people yet another option.

According to civic officers, RMC receives around 2.5 lakh complaints annually, most of them pertaining to overflowing or clogged drains, drinking water supply issues, pot-holes, littering, etc. “There have been complaints that in the current system, complainants are getting SMS alerts stating their complaint has been resolved though, as a matter of fact, they may not have been attended to. The new system will solve this issue,” Patel added.

For the new system, RMC has leased a line from telecom operator Vodafone. Sanjay Gohil, director of the Information Technology department (EDP department), said the introduction of OTP or PIN will make the system more responsive.

“In the existing system, workers of private contractors or RMC employees would go to the spot to resolve a complaint and would report to the department head that the complaint has been solved. The department head would accordingly mark the complaint in the system as solved. But in the new system, after the worker or employee reports to the department head that the complaint has been solved, the complainant will receive a message from our automatic system asking him or her if the complaint has been solved. The message would also have an OTP or PIN. The complaint will be marked resolved in the system only after the complainant confirms it,” Gohil said.

Gohil said the new system would ensure public participation in RMC’s functioning. “For us, citizen’s participation, their trust in the system is important. Therefore, we are giving them a tool to make the system responsive,” said the IT director.

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