Civic report: Over 1.2 complaints, toilet seats lacking, many vacancies in BMC departments | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Civic report: Over 1.2 complaints, toilet seats lacking, many vacancies in BMC departments

May 29, 2024 09:04 AM IST

The research organisation Praja released its annual report on civic issues in the city. It analysed complaints received by the BMC and their resolution, the number of public toilets, quality of treatment from the sewage treatment plants (STPs), air quality, the BMC budget, and vacancies in the BMC.

Mumbai: Praja, a research organisation, released its annual civic report for 2023, highlighting critical public service issues in the city.

Civic report: Over 1.2 complaints, toilet seats lacking, many vacancies in BMC departments
Civic report: Over 1.2 complaints, toilet seats lacking, many vacancies in BMC departments

Public Toilets

The report highlighted a gender disparity in public toilets, with 3 out of 4 seats designated for men and only 1 for women. This imbalance is most severe in the C Ward. Overall, there’s 1 toilet seat for every 752 men and 1 for every 1,820 women. In community toilets, one seat is shared by 86 men and 81 women, far from the recommended ratios. “The current number of toilet seats are adequate to serve only 1/3rd of the total slum population in the city,” said the report. The report also noted that 69% of community toilets lack water connections and 60% lack electricity connections.

STP

The level of effective treatment from the sewage treatment plants in the city was, for the most part, consistent with previous years. However, the STPs at Versova, Malad, Bhandup, and Ghatkopar failed to meet the criteria for treated sewage outflow as prescribed by the CBCP.

Air Quality

Air quality remains a concern, with poor levels recorded in the early months of the year. Although the months from April to September saw satisfactory air quality levels, the situation deteriorated after the monsoon season, with moderate levels recorded in October, November, and December. Several air quality monitoring stations, including MPCB’s in Chembur and Kherwadi, and SAFAR’s in Bhandup West and Navy Nagar, experienced dysfunction for most of the year.

Complaints

BMC complaints soared to 1,20,296, the second-highest in a decade. They were received through selected channels like the helpline, website, and written submissions, excluding X (formerly Twitter), new mobile apps, and the Chief Minister’s helpline. Garbage-related complaints were the highest, followed by drainage, water supply, buildings, licenses, and roads. Pollution complaints, primarily about air quality, increased significantly by 463% since 2014, totaling 760. The average resolution time was 32 days, contrasting with the mandated 6 days in BMC’s Citizen Charter. All 17,883 escalated complaints reached level three, indicating none were resolved at lower levels. However, 15,838 complaints remained unresolved by year-end.

Vacancies

The labour department has the highest vacancy rate at 83%, with only 37 out of 218 positions filled. Following closely are the water supply department and sewerage project at 64% vacancies, with other departments like planning (61%), auditor’s (62%), municipal printing press (60%), zoo (59%), and Deonar abattoir (57%) also facing significant shortages. Departments like Storm Water Drains, roads & traffic, mechanical & electrical, and education have vacancies in the 50% range. Overall, scheduled posts across the corporation have a 39% vacancy rate, while non-scheduled posts are at 57%.

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