PMC closes complaints despite being unresolved, say citizens

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is facing severe criticism for allegedly closing citizens’ complaints without actually resolving them on its online forum, ‘PMC Care’. According to several citizens, they have been notified about their complaint tokens being closed when in reality, their problems remain unsolved.

Akhil Agarwal, a financial services’ provider residing in Pune had lodged a complaint about garbage dumping and excessive road damage at Kharadi on ‘PMC Care’. According to Agarwal, the PMC took note of his complaint but delayed action and ultimately closed it as ‘resolved’ despite the problem continuing to loom large.

“There are food stores that throw garbage onto the streets near the society which is not picked up either by the Adar Poonawala Foundation or the PMC’s garbage vehicles. The garbage remains there for months together. Action against this was promised, and I contacted all PMC officials for information. However, till date, nothing has improved. Even if they say they’ve officially addressed the problem, garbage collection does not occur regularly and the garbage has piled up again. No regular solution has been provided,” Agarwal said.

Rohan Murudkar, another resident, tweeted, “The Aundh ITI road is unclean with garbage but the same complaint was closed with no resolution. # Ease of living in Pune is a fake advertisement by the PMC.”

According to the officials of the solid waste management department, PMC, however, the resolution rate for most complaints is 90% except in the case of those that need long-term solutions.

Whereas Asha Raut, deputy commissioner, solid waste management department, said, “These complaints should not be blindly closed without verification. Since the tasks are designated to ward offices, sometimes there might be a case of mismanagement. I will be looking into all these complaints personally and addressing the wards responsible for failure to resolve them.”

Citizens continue to lodge complaints about garbage dumping; and roads peppered with potholes, broken pipelines and illegally parked vehicles but their woes remain largely unaddressed.

Prashant, a frequent commuter, said, “The stretch of road near Baner has been laid with pavers. These were removed for construction work leading to the formation of deep craters and people meeting with fatal accidents in the area. When I lodged the complaint, the PMC officials came to inspect. To my surprise however, the very next day, I was notified that my complaint had been resolved and closed. I commute every day and I can clearly see that there has been no improvement in the condition of the road. Vehicles continue to be parked recklessly on both sides of the road and neither the traffic police nor the PMC has taken any action despite multiple complaints.”

Officials from the PMC road department said that a total 879 complaints have been filed from November 20 till date out of which, 309 are pending action. The PMC designates the tasks amongst the 33 engineers operating in different zones.

Avinash Kamthe, sub-engineer, road department, PMC, said, “Resolved means that the action to be taken is underway. We produce tenders and wait for the assignment of engineers. If we do not have a budget for construction, of course we cannot resolve an issue. I think this is a misunderstanding on the part of citizens. We do make sure to notify them of the process.”

Chief engineer (road) V G Kulkarni was unavailable for comment.