Citizens can now get all their complaints registered with the Rajkot Municipal Corporation by dialling a single number, 2450077, at any time or hour on any day of the week, with an assurance that the problem would be addressed within 72 hours . The staff - outsourced from a contractor - also gives the organisation a more modern and professional outlook.
According to Mayor Dhansukh Bhanderi, the call centre is dedicated entirely to manage civic complaints. “It will function 24 by 7. The complaint can be registered at any time of the day, on any day of the week,” he said.
At present, complaints related to water works, sanitation, light and building and construction are only received at the centre. Gradually, the service would be extended to other departments as well.
Four telephone lines, four computers and four operators in each shift man the set-up at any given time. A specially designed software sorts the complaint received by the operators on the spot before allotting them to the respective departments through an SMS.
“The first response is guaranteed within 72 hours. Once the complaint has been handled, the concerned person is required to send an SMS to a number dedicated to maintain the response or solution record. Three deputy commissioners supervise the entire service,” said Bhanderi.
“In India, only Hyderabad offers a similar facility to its citizens. In Gujarat, Rajkot has become the first municipal body to enable the technology-based service to residents. We studied Hyderabad civic call centre model before coming up with one at Rajkot,” said Bhanderi. He said the special software has cost the RMC Rs 1 lakh. Besides it has also got four new telephone lines installed within the set-up. According to him, the call centre is the first step towards computerisation and de-centralisation of the services at the RMC.
Only last year, the RMC came up with two new zonal offices - East Zone and West Zone - to decentralise the work from the main office on Dhebar Road. All the three zonal offices are now interconnected, and after the computerisation of the administrative work, the civic call centre is now seen as an extension of the computerisation of the civic services.