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Coimbatore Corporation’s efficiency in handling citizens’ grievances questioned
THE HINDU, NOVEMBER 24, 2018


COIMBATORE: Civic body incapable of making Coimbatore a Smart City: consumer activist

Coimbatore Corporation’s efficiency in handling citizens’ grievances has been called into question particularly with regard to complaints against a parking lot contractor. It has also raised questions about the civic body’s ability to make Coimbatore a Smart City.

According to Vadavalli resident K. Vinoth Vikas, the Corporation is yet to act on his complaints against the contractor managing the parking lot on Cross Cut Road. After his first visit to the parking lot on July 3, he sent a complaint for fleecing through a social media network on July 7, following it up with a reminder the next day.

On August 4, he sent the complaint through the Coimbatore Corporation’s website to revenue wing officials and got the acknowledgement number 63071. As there seemed to be no further action, on September 3 he mailed senior officials quoting the complaint number, Mr. Vikas says and adds that the mail to the official mail address of the Commissioner bounced.

On October 13, he sent reminders but the mail to the Commissioner bounced again.

Even as he kept on reminding the officials, on November 10, he went to the parking lot and was again charged ?20 instead of ?10. He wrote again to the Corporation officials quoting the old acknowledgement number and also the new one, generated after registering the latest complaint.

Mr. Vikas says that in the second complaint he also sought action against the Central Zone officials concerned as it was their failure to act against the contractor that led to he being fleeced for the second time.

As the Corporation did not respond, he wrote to the Prime Minister’s grievance cell and only thereafter did an official call him. The officer who called him asked him to mail the details, he says and adds that after he did so, nothing much happened again.

All he wants is action against the contractor for fleecing customers, he adds.

Commenting on the way the Corporation has handled the issue, consumer activist K. Kathirmathiyon says that it not only exposes the local body’s inefficiency but also that it is incapable of making Coimbatore a Smart City.

Quoting the Smart City features, as described by the Ministry of Urban Development, he says that the Ministry wants local bodies implementing Smart Cities projects to improve governance, make it citizen-friendly, cost-effective and increase reliance on online services, bring in accountability and transparency and providing services without going to municipal offices.

In Coimbatore Corporation’s case none of this has happened and therefore the Ministry should stop funding the Corporation.

He also says that if Corporation continues to treat citizens the way it has, people will start losing faith in the system.

Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan says the issue has not reached him. He will check and initiate necessary action.

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