‘Prefer approaching ex-councillors to MCD’

A waterlogged lane in Shaheen Bagh covered in mud and garbage

A waterlogged lane in Shaheen Bagh covered in mud and garbage | Photo Credit: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA

It has been nearly a month since the recently unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) started holding daily hearings to address the public’s grievances. However, these hearings are not drawing many people.

An MCD official said there is “a lack of awareness among the public about our grievance redressal mechanism”.

Grievance redressal

According to the civic body, a total of 954 complaints were received, between June 6 and July 1. Of these, 406 were disposed of during the hour-long public hearings that take place each day at 14 locations in the city, including the MCD headquarters and the 12 zonal headquarters.

Many, like Munna Khan who resides in south Delhi’s Abul Fazal Enclave, prefer approaching their former ward councillors to get their work done over participating in the MCD’s grievance redressal mechanism. This, despite the fact that the terms of the three erstwhile corporations, which were merged to create MCD, ended in May. So, the city does not have any councillors at the moment. A delimitation exercise has to be conducted first, followed by municipal polls, for new councillors to be elected to the House of MCD.

‘Issue not resolved’

The area where Mr. Khan lives is perenially affected by waterlogging and poor sanitation. Mr. Khan says he visited MCD’s office in Lajpat Nagar during the public grievance redressal hour once but his issue was not resolved.

“We eventually had to hire a private contractor to lift garbage around our houses and clean our streets. The MCD people do come to sweep and lift garbage from the main roads, but not from the streets and bylanes in our area. Their work is inconsistent and untimely. To get the MCD to do their work properly, we have to ask our former councillor to put in a word,” says Mr. Khan.

Upon visiting one of the MCD’s zonal deputy commissioner offices in Lajpat Nagar, for three consecutive days, The Hindu observed very few people turning up during the grievance redressal hour scheduled between 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Abhishek Dutt (Congress), a former councillor from a ward in Andrews Ganj, said that his office still sees a regular flow of locals, while B.K. Oberoi (BJP) — former standing committee Chairman at the erstwhile South Delhi Municipal Corporation — also reported people regularly coming to him with their grievances.

Responding to the observations put forward by residents, a senior MCD official agreed that the daily public hearings are yet to gain pace, with the overall attendance remaining thin. However, he dismissed the notion of people turning towards councillors, in large numbers.

The official said that very few among the former councillors had reached out to the municipality with grievances of their residents, ever since the unified civic body was constituted on May 22.

“These public hearings take time. Hopefully, the public turnout will improve with time. Our officers are very much available to solve the public’s issues,” said the official.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 4:39:33 am |