SHILLONG, Nov 15 - In an innovative exercise, the district administration of West Jaintia Hills has established one-of-its-kind public grievance redress mechanism based on WhatsApp (an instant messaging application).
�The hallmark of this mechanism is its simplicity. The citizen having any complaints can drop a text message, an audio message or a video message on WhatsApp to a special number,� West Jaintia Hills Deputy Commissioner, Arun Kumar Kembhavi, said.
He said that the complaints may be of any issue related to public interest, be it delay in obtaining certificates, localities not getting electricity or water supply, non removal of garbage and others such issues.
�For example, if any citizen comes across a poor quality midday meal being served in any government school, the members from the public may attach a photo of the meal and send it to the number,� the Deputy Commissioner said.
Giving further details of how the mechanism would work, Kembhavi said, �When a citizen sends a complaint message, it will be forwarded to a closed group called �DCC Jowai�. All the members of the District Coordination Committee are the members of this group.�
�When a message is sent to this group, the concerned line department officer shall take action and will also update the Deputy Commissioner on the action taken. The same will be informed to the complainant,� the Deputy Commissioner added.
Efforts will be made to address the issues in a time-bound manner and fix responsibility on the line department. Citizens can lodge their complaints in Pnar, Khasi or English languages.
He also said, �People who do not have WhatsApp in their phones may choose to send an SMS or register their complaint through �DC Jowai� Facebook page.�