Vijay (name changed) is a senior citizen living in an informal settlement in Anantapuramu, Andhra Pradesh. He faces the usual challenges of living in India’s urban slums — sewage backups, rusted water lines, and erratic power supply, among many others. He knows that the municipality can fix some of these problems, but it’s hard for him to get on their radar. It involves him going to the local municipal office, standing in a queue to file a complaint, possibly offering a bribe, and then following up repeatedly, hoping that something is done.
This is where ‘Digital India’ comes in. Now, imagine the Anantapuramu municipality launches a municipal services app. The vision for this app is to bring the municipality closer to the people living there. This will allow a person to file a complaint within minutes, all done from the comfort of their home through a smartphone. More importantly, it ensures that there is an auto-generated electronic trail, with a key performance indicator (KPI) that ensures that the grievance gets actioned within a stipulated timeframe. In theory, this makes the system more efficient and transparent and enables redressal without greasing palms or seeking favours.
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Photo credit: The Hindu Business Line