Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Letter to President of India by 75 yr old harrased Elderly

To Date: 7-09-09.

Smt. Pratibhatai Patil,

The President Of India,

Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi-110001.

Respected Madamji,

Sub: Apply Apply No Reply- - - Reforming the BABUDOM in 100 DAY PROGRAMME of the Present GOVERNMENT.

In your Opening Address to both the Houses of Parliament, you have promised that

`` An area of major focus for my Government would be reform of governance for effective delivery of public services. Reports of the Administrative Reforms Commission would guide the effort. Reform of structures in the higher echelons of government, increased decentralization, inclusion of women and youth in governance, process reform and public accountability would be key areas for focused action. As part of process reform, all proposals to the Cabinet will have to report on how the proposal under consideration will enhance the goals of equity or inclusion, innovation and public accountability. `

Even after 61 years of Independence, We have not been able to create an Efficient Machinery to deal with Grievances/Representations of our Citizens! Government has included the Reforming of BABUDOM in their Current Agenda for effective deliverance of Public Service and Home Minister has started some steps in this direction for his Departments but unless all concerned take this seriously, this may remain on paper, as with many such announcements in the past. I may bring out the Present Factual Position to your Notice for initiating proper & prompt action.

Generally, Public Contact Telephones are not attended most of the time. Automatic phones asking to dial 1 for this, 2 for that etc go on telling that `Your phone is very important to us and will be attended shortly` and gets you to the concerned authority rarely. All Public Phones should have recording system and when no one is available, grievance should get recorded.

All communications through Post Offices are very much delayed and even speed post take 5-6 days to reach. Prompt disposal of grievances is desirable. Although instructions appear to have been issued, no government department is using E/Mail for replying Grievances/Applications-Appeals under RTI etc. Most of the Public Authorities do not give their phone no. and mobile no. in their correspondence with public. Many of the Public Authorities do not give their full postal address with pin etc. Many of the Central Ministries do not indicate pin in their correspondence. Strict & clear instructions are required to be issued for this.

Inspite of voluminous instructions to Public Authorities for redressal of Public Grievances in a time bound manner as an integral part of governance (the last Volume of such instructions being ``Policy Guidelines for Redress of P.G.`` by Ministry of A.R. & P.G. in 2007 and ``Centralized P.G. Redressal & Monitoring System-CPGRAMS-Empowering Citizens-Enabling Government`` by same Ministry in 2009), there are many Public Authorities, which neither acknowledge nor reply any representations/grievances received by them!! The CONCERNED Public Authorities have developed a tendency of not getting CONCERNED for the Public, as they are the final AUTHORITIES of the Country!! It is very few Public Authorities like BEST, Mumbai Mahanagar Palika, Mumbai Mayor Etc, which promptly & properly reply all representations/grievances. Such Public Authorities must be recognized & rewarded at your level, so that others may get encouraged to follow them. The present position of Public Grievances is as under as per information given by Ministry of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances, the highest authority concerned with dealing of Public Grievances:-

Year: No. received.

2006 1,09,620

2007 1,01,995

2008 1,24,052

2009 52,933

(up to 30-6-09)

There is no record to indicate as to how many of this large number are solved or atleast replied and how many are still pending. As Ministry of A.R.& P.G. is refusing to chase or issue reminders for getting replies to such grievances reported to them, where is monitoring or solving grievances of citizens? This casual approach of only registering the grievance and carelessness of refusing to chase must be curbed and proper procedure to chase at appropriate levels till the matter gets finalized must be enforced!

As I did not get any reply from the Ministry of P.G. or any local or central Public Authorities to whom these grievances were forwarded by P.G. Cell for the following 4 grievances of citizens of our area for 2 years recorded in the portal, I requested for position under RTI Act from the Ministry, replies of which indicate the factual position of helpless citizens in respect of dealing with their genuine and real grievances!!

i) DAPRG/E/2007/07477 dt 25-10-07 for non-provision of 3-4 lights in a big Public Garden provided by MHADA-Maharashtra Housing And Area Development Authority open from 5-30 in the morning to 10 in the night for children, ladies and all citizens, as our efforts at local level from 1-11-05 did not bring any result.

ii) DARPG/E/2007/07480 dt 25-10-07 for RTO, Thane not taking any action to get rickshaws run on meter in Mira-Bhayander Area of most developed city of Mumbai!

iii) DEPOJ/E/2008/00048 dt 1-5-08 for Department of Justice under Ministry of Law & Justice not giving the copies of required instructions about preference being given to court cases of senior citizens nor giving any reply inspite of repeated reminders and request from Ministry of

S.J. & E. and CIC, Delhi.

iv) DOPAT/E/2008/00034 dt 22-5-08 for Chief Information Commissioner, the highest authority of the Country to get information to the citizens, not giving any acknowledgement/registration no. to IInd Appeals/Complaints sent to him nor intimating reasons for rejecting any appeals/complaints.

Reply received under no. H-18011/80/2009 PG(RTI)dt 10-7-09 gives the following position:-

i) There is no Grievance Cell in this Ministry of P.G. and it is only a Policy Formulating Department and has no mandate to examine or redress any grievances, though it has to closely monitor the redressal of grievances!!

ii) Maximum time limit for redressal is 60 days.

iii) For my first 2 grievances, these were forwarded to Maharashtra Government on 29-10-07 and other 2 were directly lodged with those departments and this Ministry has no details thereof.

iv) I was advised to lodge my grievances with Mumbai Municipal Corporation, though none of the two pertained to Municipal Corporation.

As this did not give the required information, I requested to give proper information for which the reply was received vide their letter no. H-18011/80/2009PG (RTI) dt 30-7-09, which indicates the following:-

i) Monitoring by this Department is prescribed for Central Ministries only and there also this Department monitors only some selected grievances only!

ii) This Department received 12995 grievances in 2007; 49247 in 2008 and 39022 in 2009 up to June, 09 but no position is available for how many solved/replied.

iii) There is no Monitoring Cell under the System and all my grievances pertain to local municipality and I have a tendency to collect matters that are to be settled by 4-5 different authorities. This confuses the issue and does not convey what the person is actually asking for. This way of reply clearly indicates the whims, pride and prejudice of the highly paid OFFICER, who goes on giving such irresponsible casual reply even after repeatedly told that these do not pertain to Municipality and all the 4 are recorded separately!!

iv) No reminders are issued nor required to be issued to either Municipality in Mumbai or to Central Ministries for your grievances, as this Ministry has no quasi-judicial power (even) to monitor!!

It would be observed from above factual position as to how Public Grievances are dealt with and self frustrations, whims, pride, prejudice towards citizens are reflected in replies even at the level of Under Secretary of such a P.G. Machinery! This highest Machinery is stated to be neither Grievance Cell nor Monitoring Cell but is to be considered as POST OFFICE!!

Similar position exists at highest local level also! Many of the local Public Authorities do not give any reply to any representations even after several reminders! Shri Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra on taking over as CM announced that citizens can directly approach him for grievances and gave his personal E/Mail address, stating that he would personally ensure that grievances are solved within 8-10 days by departments. I sent him 4 grievances of citizens of our area to his E/Mail as well as letter dt 31-12-08. No action/reply is given by him or any one for these 4 grievances inspite of several reminders to CM., though 9 months have passed instead of 8-10 days, as promised. Last general reply received from his Secretiate under no. mumansa/09/6/708 dt 15-7-09 received on 14-8-09 advises in clear words that this Secretiate is only a POST OFFICE and its working is limited to forwarding representation to concerned department and it is for citizen to pursue with the concerned departments!

As this is the factual position at the level of Chief Minister & Highest Grievance Ministry at Centre, you may like to get the whole issue of solving P.G. examined seriously and sincerely at appropriate level for fulfilling your promise in your Opening Address of reforming this BABUDOM. Second Administrative Reforms Commission in its 12 th Report had given clear recommendations for a legislation on lines of RTI but these were rejected by Government, as it may result in turf war between the executive & judiciary, as advised by Ministry of ARPG in their above letter. As per Media Report before few months, The Parliamentary Standing Committee had recommended to set up an Effective Public Grievance Redressal Mechanism in every office on lines of RTI Act. The Mechanism should be accessible, simple, quick, fair, responsive and effective and should be set within 30 days. More than 6 months have passed to this Press Report but nothing is visible. You may like to get this expedited.


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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