How an Indian village is resolving civic issues with hi-tech complaint redressal system

Mishrikoti Village Gram Panchayat has implemented a call center service to empower residents to flag civic issues using facilities such as CCTV camera, walkie-talkie, siren and Wi-Fi

While citizens in major cities still run from pillar to post to get their civic issues resolved, a small village called Mishrikoti in Dharwad district in Karnataka has certainly set an example by implementing a hi-tech civic complaint redressal system.

Today, with help of a call center, CCTV camera, walkie-talkie, siren and Wi-Fi, the residents can flag issues related to panchayat officers, hospitals, ration cards, etc.

GOING THE RIGHT WAY

Earlier, whenever any villager had a query, he had to visit the Mishrikoti Village Gram Panchayat and call on the number available on the board. There was zero tracking and accountability, since personal numbers were shared and it was difficult to track incoming calls with time and recording. There was no escalation point and the villagers had to go to the Tahasildar office for escalations.

Looking at the pain-points, then Chairman felt the need for one number where villagers could call and connect to various departments and also escalate using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR). He was also keen on tracking the outcome of complaints in terms of TAT, etc.

In line with the needs, gram panchayat chose Knowlarity Communications to implement a call center service in the village.

Gram Panchayat Head Parvatevva Ganjeegatti says, “We deposited money in the panchayat accounts to enable call center services provided by Knowlarity Communications. Villagers are expecting positive and effective results in the future.”

The solution implemented by the gram panchayat was a mobile number with IVR, which routes calls to concerned departments. In case the calls go unanswered at the 1st level, the same can be forwarded to higher officers as per the escalation matrix. This was a simple affordable cloud-based solution which addressed the key problem of connectivity, accountability and most importantly traceability.

Girija Gowda, Head of Sales – South at Knowlarity Communications says, “We shared a demo account with the team there and made them test the services for a week, post which they agreed to subscribe for the service. The acceptability was high considering the ease at which the service could be managed.”

EFFECIENT GREVIANCE REDRESSAL

As today villagers can flag their issues from one number and also escalate using the same number, it has increased their confidence.

Gowda of Knowlarity Communications says, “In the past when the villager called the police station, most calls were unanswered. And there were no escalation telephone number shared ( Inspector , SP, etc ). It was difficult to connect to the higher authorities. Post implementation, the calls if un-answered at the entry level automatically gets transferred to the next level.” This has forced people to answer calls and respond to complaints faster.

All calls today are tracked and gram panchayat has access to statistical information on calls received, complaints registered, complained resolved, time taken to resolve the complaint, no of complaints escalated, etc, which wasn’t available in the past. This in turn has significantly increased efficiency.

The implementation is in line with the Digital India concept of empowering every Indian village with technology that does not require any high-end gadgets. Looking at how the system of raising complaints can help in ensuring better administration and governance, gram panchayats of Yeliwal and Sherewad are also implementing the solution.

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