App fails to make a clean sweep

The Union Urban Development Ministry last week wrote to the municipalities stating that the complaint resolution through the Swachh app has gone down by 50 per cent.

Published: 18th June 2017 07:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th June 2017 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

M Venkaiah Naidu launching the app

NEW DELHI: “Good concept going waste. A simple complaint regarding street sweeping is not being taken care of since so many days. Please invest a little more on sincere efforts rather than advertisement. Will our country, our systems ever change? I have lost hope. Very poor.”

Says one of the many complaints about Swachhata—the government’s official app to handle cleanliness.

Does Swachh Bharat need to clean up its digital reputation? The app, launched by Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu about a year ago, is facing public dismay and apathy since most municipal bodies do not respond to their complaints about filth in their locality.

The app was launched to connect people with local government as part of the flagship Swachh Bharat mission.

Pulling up the authorities, the ministry last week wrote to the municipalities complaining that complaint resolution through the app has gone down by 50 per cent. Only a few municipal bodies are using it.

The Union Urban Development Ministry last week wrote to the municipalities stating that the complaint resolution through the Swachh app has gone down by 50 per cent. “After the Swachh Sarvekshan 2017, some ULBs have continued to use the app and are effectively resolving the complaints but in case of most of municipal bodies it has been observed that there is a dip in the usage of the app and the resolution of the complaints has gone down to 50 per cent,” said the letter.

The letter reminded municipal bodies of their responsibility to popularise the mobile app in their respective cities so that “citizens download and use them and resolve complaints”.

In a bid to push the use of the app, the ministry is finalising the scoring parameters for weightage to be given for effective app use.

Sumit Arora, the official overlooking the maintenance of the app, confirmed that the performance of many municipal bodies in resolving cleanliness-related complaints on the app is poor. Engineers and municipal officials are being trained to promote the app to counter the lack of awareness.

“All 4,041 municipal bodies in the country have to follow the app for complaint redressal,” said Arora.

He said people in some municipal areas and cities hardly use the app to resolve cleanliness issues. “Everyone has smart phones but not awareness. Municipal bodies have been told to make people aware about the app so that sanitation problems can be solved digitally,” he added.

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