A research by Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Good Governance and Policy Analysis undertook a study on effectiveness of CM Helpline. The research team while pointing shortcomings also recommended the corrective measures, which the State government adopted positively and with immediate effect. The report also speaks about acute shortage of trained and dedicated staff for CM Helpline. The initiative of starting CM Helpline proved to be a successful experiment by Shivraj government but its misuse increased the challenge of delivering benefits to the complainant, concluded the research report on ‘Assessing the effectiveness of the CM Helpline in addressing public grievances’.

The report said that frivolous complaints were received on the helpline and people who had not even applied for schemes had approached the helpline seeking redressal. False complaints and faulty resolution process has added burden on lower level L1 officials dealing with complaints, says the report.   A detailed study of 100 sample ‘forced/ special closed’ complaints per district on the basis of recorded interactions indicate that about 45 per cent of the 900 force/special closed complaints are complaints in which the necessary action was already been taken by the department concerned.

A sizeable percentage (29%) of complaints had to be force closed owing to the fact that the complaint is invalid, false or found incorrect after inspection by the concerned department or the complainant is not eligible to claim benefit of particular government schemes. Thus, about 74 per cent of the force/special closed complaints comprise of complaints where necessary action has been taken and complaints which are invalid/ ineligible.

The report said that there is an acute shortage of trained and dedicated staff for CM Helpline. Staff needs to be increased and trained besides giving more powers to helpline officials at L1 and L2 level. They should be given more power to resolve the matter at initial level to make the CM Helpline more effective. State government adopted the recommendations within a week of the submission of the report. Now, power of force closure of complaints has been allotted to the officials of L1 and L2 officials.

Plaints to helpline sees 247% rise in 3-yr

The CM Helpline launched in 2014 is a platform where anybody can register his/ her grievances on any issue by calling 181 and the CMH portal. There has been a steep and steady increase over the years starting with 551275 complaints in the inception year to 1916215 complaints in 2017, thus, recording a staggering increase of over 247% in three years.

Dept of energy accounts for 19 % plaint, highest

A look at the registered complaints department wise indicate that around 3929691 complaints were centered around eight departments, which together account for about 78% of all the total complaints -which stand at 5006591. Among these departments, the department of energy has the highest number of complaints at 960751, accounting for about 19% of the total grievances. A close second is the department of panchayat and rural development with 752965 complaints (about 15% of the total) and the department of urban administration and development stands at third position with 590775 complaints (about 12%). The department of revenue has 467477 complaints (9%) while the department of public health engineering has about 7% of the total complaints, home about 6%, food and civil supplies 5% approx. and school education another 5% of the total registered complaints.

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