In order to ensure transparency, improvement of services and public participation in the day-to-day civic affairs, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has been launching various mobile and web-based applications. But thanks to technical glitches and poor monitoring these tools have not only lost their popularity, a couple of applications are either dumped or have been reduced to mere decorative gadget icons, leaving residents more disappointed than satisfied.
However, undeterred by their past disasters, the civic administration launched another mobile application 'My MBMC' amid much fanfare on Thursday. “The app which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store will have a host of features and links to avail civic facilities including grievance redressal mechanism, information of various departments and also an online payment platform facilitating various digital wallets. The mobile application will be a miniature replica of the MBMC’s official website with enhanced features,” said an official.
“Most of the times these civic apps face technical glitches and even if we manage to upload our complaints, officials don’t take it seriously. If there is no proper monitoring or mechanism in place for regular updates, I don’t think the mobile application would make any difference in our lives,” said a Bhayandar resident.
The fate of applications allowing residents to lodge online complaints related to potholes, garbage, water leakages, illegal constructions/ banners and the much-hyped mobile tracking software system intended to enhance transparency and quality of ongoing construction work is unknown.
This despite judicial directions that mandate civic bodies to set up a three-level approach to address grievances mainly related to potholes under which complaints could be lodged through their website, helpline number or through SMS. “Currently, we have only this 'My MBMC' app and 'Majhi Bus' app for smart commuting,” admitted a highly placed officer.