Mumbai: One-third of the helpline numbers of BMC road engineers (one for each ward), for the purpose of addressing public complaints related to potholes, which were published in several newspapers on Monday, either don’t work or are not connected to messaging applications. Eight of the 24 wards across the city are non-functional from the very beginning of the initiative.
The contact numbers of road engineers of G North, K West, P North, R South, N, and T wards were either unavailable or were switched off. There were instances wherein the calls were forwarded to another number and then got disconnected. While road engineers from H-East and S ward could be reached on those numbers, they were not linked to WhatsApp messaging application.
The civic body came up with the idea of using the message application to collect citizens’ complaints on potholes in 2016. The current move is an extension of the same practice and hence it was decided to publish the list of numbers of road engineers from all wards in newspapers on Monday. “The main aim of providing numbers of the BMC officials is to give public easy access to them. They can send a photo of the pothole on WhatsApp along with the address or share live location. Even people having no access can send text messages,” said a senior civic official.
The civic body has also claimed it would attend to complaints within 72 hours of receiving it. “The moment we receive the complaint or query from someone, the civic body will act on it within three days of the message being generated,” said the official. The service is in addition to BMC’s mobile application ‘MCGM24X7’ that allows citizens to tag a particular road patch and file complaints. The application doesn’t allow exclusive complaints on potholes, but accepts complaints about bad patches.