Mumbai: : Andheri residents test-drive app to interact with civic officials, lawmakers

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has rolled out a unique mobile application called VIA 70, which will allow citizens of Andheri, Irla and Vile Parle to interact with civic authorities and corporators. Besides, they can also monitor the provisions of the BMC, check the work status of current projects, complain and put forth their grievances to the authorities.

The application was launched in November 2018 and has been downloaded by more than 850 users. “The purpose of the application is to establish transparency.

Through this application, citizens will be able to register their complaints directly with the junior officer of the locality. If the junior officer fails to address the issue in three days, the complaint will be escalated to a senior civic official,” said Mayank Gandhi, social activist and one of the developers of this application.

According to Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Sunita Mehta, such applications are necessary to maintain checks and balances in a democracy. “The corporator of the area also has access and can monitor the status of complaints. If civic authorities are not taking any action, we can raise the matter with higher authorities. Such checks and balances are important in a healthy democracy,” said Mehta.

The app has a real time chat box, which residents can use to interact with other residents of the locality. Besides, the application provides important numbers within the area — those of the police helpline, hospitals, emergency, animal control, elected representatives of the locality, etc. “The application has been rolled out on a trial basis and we plan to implement it across all 227 municipal wards in Mumbai,” said Mehta.

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