SHILLONG, April 19: The District Administration of West Khasi Hills (WKH) has made use of the popular android application ‘Whatsapp’ for wide reach of its grievance redress mechanism, taking advantage of the prevalence of smart phones and internet connectivity amongst the masses.
Informing this on Wednesday, the Deputy Commissioner (DC), WKH, Arunkumar Kembhavi said, “These days a majority of the people have smart phones and WhatsApp. The citizen having any complaints may drop a text message, an audio message or a video message on WhatApp to this special BSNL number +91 94363 94363.”
The complaints may pertain to delay in obtaining various certificates, localities not getting electricity, water, non removal of garbage and such. If any citizen comes across a poor quality mid day meal being served in any government school, they may attach a photo of the meal and send it to the number.
The same applies to substandard construction work on roads or any government building. Citizen may also upload the newspaper items clippings pertaining to any specific department. A police constable taking money from truck drivers on the national highways, absenteeism in government offices, schools, hospitals, gas agencies delivering cylinders on point locations so on and so forth can also be intimated through this medium. If there are any discrepancies in the National Food Security Act ration cards, he may upload the photos of the ration card and the supporting documents. If found correct, a new card will be issued.
When a citizen sends a complaint message, it will be forwarded to a closed group called “DCC WKH”. All the members of the District Coordination Committee are the members of this group. When a message is sent to this group, the concerned line department officer shall take action and shall update the Deputy Commissioner on the action taken. The same will be informed to the complainant. Citizens can lodge their complaints in any language Khasi, Garo, Hindi or English.
Citizens may use other Instant Messaging applications also such as Telegram and Hike messenger. Those people who do not have smartphones may choose to send a simple SMS as well. In order to prevent some people misusing this system, by repeated vexatious complaints by spamming, their numbers will be blocked. Call facility is also not available on this number.
The WHATAPP can also be used to suggest ways and means to improve the public delivery system in government departments. In other words it acts as a virtual suggestion box.
For those who want to lodge complaints through Facebook, The District Administration has an official Facebook page “Deputy Commissioner Nongstoin”. Exemplary work done by the line departments of West Khasi Hills will be regularly updated on the Facebook page.
This mechanism will eschew the need for the citizens to come to DC Office. Sitting at home they can get their grievance redressed.