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Pillar to post: Woman faces tough time while trying to file complaint in Madurai Corporation office

What then will those poor souls who could never reach the light of letters do? Meenakshi's experience at a corporation grievance-redress meeting on Tuesday bears before us a woeful answer.

Published: 27th February 2020 11:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2020 11:27 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

MADURAI: Even to an educated youth, a government office may present a labyrinth that will have to be painstakingly navigated to get an issue addressed; readers themselves might be able to relate themselves to such situations in the past.

What then will those poor souls who could never reach the light of letters do? Meenakshi's experience at a corporation grievance-redress meeting on Tuesday bears before us a woeful answer.

It was her first visit to a grievance-redress meeting and 43-year-old Meenakshi Ramakrishnan from Zone 4 found herself at a dead-end -- none was ready to pen down her grievance.

Her humble explanation to officials that she was illiterate had no takers.

From desk to desk she ran, requesting and pleading to officials and fellow petitioners she thought might help her out, but to no avail. It was, finally, a security guard who took pity on her and wrote the petition for her.

"All I needed was help in writing a petition explaining my grievance. However, when I approached the registration desk, the officials there told me that their duty was to register petitions, not writing them."

Hers is not an isolated incident, sources say, and this makes one wonder why the corporation did not thought about setting up a help desk or a designated official to help illiterate petitioners.

Officials, however, throw up their hands saying that they cannot help such petitioners as they have to perform their assigned duties first. Given that scores of petitioners throng such meetings, their reasoning holds water.

"Petitioners often help one another in writing applications. However, at times, they would not have time to spare," said V Saravanan, another petitioner. He was also of the opinion that the corporation should set up a help desk.

Responding to TNIE's query, Corporation Commissioner S Visakan said steps would be taken to arrange a help desk during future grievance-redress meetings.

Nitty-gritty of grievance redress meeting

Public grievance-redress meeting is held on a rotational basis in all the four zonal offices of the Madurai Corporation on Tuesdays.

Each meeting witnesses a large number of residents seeking redress of issues that range from drinking water supply, underground drainage connections, and road facilities to tax revision, street lights, and name change in property tax documents.

Procedure

  • The petitions are usually written down as an application that should be enclosed with supporting documents.

  • Petitioners would be given a hand-written acknowledgment card at the registration desk where officials would pen down details like the petitioner's name, address, grievance, and contact number.

  • Once the grievance, provided that it is reasonable, is taken up with the corporation commissioner, who presides over the meeting, the petitioners would be promised needed action and a reply by post in a week's time.

  • At the grievance-redress meeting at Zone 4 on Tuesday, 82 petitions were filed.



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