The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) is responsible for water supply and sewage collection and disposal across about 800 square km of Bengaluru city and its surrounding areas. BWSSB currently supplies over 1,450 million litres of water per day to these areas. It has introduced a wide range of information technology-related initiatives in the state such as computerised billing, geospatial mapping, smart metering and mobile applications. These facilities have assisted BWSSB in improving its operational efficiency. Overall, the measures have enhanced service delivery and simplified citizen-government interaction.
Earlier, reporting any civic problem was a tedious task for the residents of Bengaluru. With a view to addressing the problem and promoting e-governance in the city, BWSSB launched an Android-based application, “MyComplaint”, in November 2016. Through this app, people living in the BWSSB area can lodge grievances related to water timings, new connections, pipe damage, the sewerage system and water meters. The app also locates kiosks for bill payments. At present, the scope of the application is confined to complaint lodging only, and payment and query resolution features will be added at later stages. The application is available on Google Play as well BWSSB’s website, and can be downloaded free of cost. It provides a host of useful functions such as registering and tracking of complaints, and information including kiosks location and water timings.
Lodging complaints: Once the application is installed, users are required to register their name, address, email, phone number, area and RR number mentioned in the water bill. After the registration process is over, the complainant is required to enter the complaint category and subcategory to lodge a complaint.
Tracking complaints: Once the complaint has been registered, a unique number is given to the consumer, which can be used to track the status of the complaint at any stage of the grievance redressal process. The track complaint page provides information pertaining to the complaint status, date and time of lodging the complaint, complaint category (water, sewage, stormwater drainage, etc.) and address.
Locating kiosks: The citizens can locate the nearest kiosks by opening the “kiosks location” link, which opens the description page. The page provides the option of choosing the division – central, north, south, west, northwest, southwest, east, northeast and southeast – where the customer resides. Once the division is selected, the application locates the nearest kiosks via global positioning system (GPS) providing details such as address, contact and directions.
Water supply timings: The application also provides citizens with details of water supply timings. The citizens are required to select the area for which the information is required. A page displays information pertaining to days on which water will be supplied to a particular area.
Contacts: The “contacts” feature in the application provides details such as name, designation and mobile number of BWSSB officials.
Since the initiative is fairly recent, it is yet to show any significant impact on the quality of service delivery. The water utility is now focusing on integrating the mobile application with Paytm and three other agencies to allow consumers to pay their water bills through the app.
Going forward, the successful adoption of the application is expected to improve accountability and lead to greater transparency in operations. Further, the application will save complainants’ time and effort, and will help in resolving grievances in a systematic manner. It will also serve as an example for other local bodies to implement similar initiatives in their jurisdiction.