In a move that will bring cheer to the public, the state’s urban development department has issued a government resolution (GR) to all municipal commissioners asking them to meet visitors for at least two hours to settle their grievances on a daily basis. The GR was issued after it was found that 25 per cent of visitors to Mantralaya come with civic grievances that are not addressed at the local level. The directives have been issued by Urban Development-II (UD-II) which looks after the civic administration.
Manisha Mhaiskar, the principal secretary of UD-II, said: “We have many visitors in Mantralaya and at least 25 per cent come because their problems are not solved at municipal corporation level and the commissioner or officer concerned did not meet them.”
“In Mantralaya, the chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya meets visitors for 1 hour every day even without appointments. Sufficient time must be given to meet citizens who approach the officials without appointment,” Mhaiskar added.
The GR says the citizens wish to take their grievances to the civic commissioner and it has been observed that such interactions do not happen, which makes them follow the case at the state level.
It adds that this is not good for a transparent and responsible administration and it is expected that such problems are solved at corporation level. Sources in the UD said most of the complaints are from Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
Mumbai municipal commissioner, Ajoy Mehta, said: “In BMC, officials meet people at all levels. Apart from the commissioner, additional commissioners, deputy commissioners and even assistant commissioner meet the public on a regular basis.” UD feels that if such a measure is not taken seriously the reputation of state and municipal bodies will be tarnished. This move will help form a good opinion about the civic bodies and the government in the minds of people.
Thane municipal commissioner, Sanjeev Jaiswal, said: “In Thane, I have assigned Monday and Tuesday for hearing public grievances. Apart from this, the commissioner meets the public on other days too.”
Navi Mumbai Municipal Commissioner, Dinesh Waghmare, pointed that he had not come across the GR, but said that UD had called for a meeting on this issue on Wednesday.