The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is undertaking various technology-related initiatives to create an efficient service delivery system. The authority has recently launched the updated version of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation-mobile application (KMC App) with additional services to streamline and improve its functioning. The application will help customers apply for new water connections and request for water tankers online.
Prior to the launch of the mobile application, accessing essential services or reporting any civic problem was a tedious task for Kolkata residents. With a view to addressing such problems and promoting e-governance in the city, KMC’s IT department inaugurated the mobile application on March 2, 2015. This facility allows people to register for birth and death certificates, pay local taxes, file right to information and register complaints online through their mobile phones.
In March 2016, the civic authority launched the updated version of the application, which allows property tax payers to apply for new water supply and drainage connections online. The application has been designed by KMC’s IT department and can be downloaded free of cost from Google Play for Android-based phones, the App store for iOS-based devices or the Windows store. Earlier, it was available only on Android-based smartphones with limited facilities.
After installing the application, citizens are required to log in using their registered mobile number. The application gives the option to continue with or without GPS. Complaints can be registered choosing the appropriate category head. Some of the main heads are street lighting, garbage removal, unauthorised buildings, dirty water, water leakage and sewer overflow. After choosing from one of the available options, the complainant is required to give a detailed description of the problem, the location and the nearest landmark.
The application permits the registration of complaints not only in the area of residence but also for projects in other areas. After a complaint is registered in the system, it is forwarded to the central control room for scrutiny. A unique ticket number is given to the customer, which can be used to track the complaint status at any stage of the grievance redressal process.
The application also allows citizens to register for new water supply connections online. After applying for a new connection, the applicant can check the application status through the reference number. Once the application is approved, the system will automatically generate a demand notice for payment. The applicant can pay for the connection online or at the nearest KMC collection centre. Further, the application allows online application for water tanker requisition. It also has a status check option for the applicant. In addition, the application can provide the location of the city’s pay-and-use toilets.
The new KMC application offers the know-your-citizen (KYC) service, under which the portal provides a link to enable users to log in and register for KYC. It provides taxpayers information about different civic services, including outstanding property tax and the status of other essential services like water supply, drainage, trade licences, and birth and death certificates.
The successful adoption of IT will make KMC officials more accountable and enable greater transparency in operations. Further, the application will save complainants’ time and effort, and help solve public grievances in a systematic manner. However, to make the application successful, the civic officers will have to take action against the complaints in a timely manner. These initiatives are expected to significantly improve the operational efficiency and service delivery of the corporation and augment customer satisfaction by providing a one-stop solution for all civic services.