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Only a few people complain to BWSSB

BWSSB office at R.T Nagar (Image Source: The SoftCopy archives)

By Ishita Dave
Bangalore, September 22, 2016: Several people do not believe that they can go to the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) with their complaints. A recent study showed that 44 per cent consumers did not file a complaint for problems with their water connections to the BWSSB.

The study conducted by the Public Affairs Centre (PAC), a think tank that was hired by the BWSSB to assess its functioning, also showed that of complaints received, 62 per cent problems were not resolved.

Lack of awareness about procedures and the perception that no action will be taken even if a complaint is lodged emerged as the main reasons for consumers not contacting the BWSSB.

BWSSB’s grievance mechanism has also only partially satisfied its consumers. Shreyes Shyamsunder, 23, a resident of Kammanahalli says that he had complained several times in the past regarding irregular water supply but the problem wasn’t resolved.

Raj E, a resident of Austin Town in Bangalore said every time he complained he was referred to another BWSSB official. He said till now had complained online, talked to the area engineer as well as the supervisor, yet his problem was not resolved.



Source: PAC Report

The study shows that 57 per cent consumers believed that no change could be seen in the quality of services offered by the BWSSB as compared to last year.

Dr Meera Nair, Head of Participatory Governance Research at PAC, who was in charge of the assessment, said,“Very few people have complained regarding their problems. The issue is also with the way complaints are handled. We recommend the BWSSB to come up with a helpdesk. Currently some complaints are made verbally, some are done online. Also, no receipt of any sort is provided to them.”

The study surveyed 2,057 consumers and interviewed BWSSB staff members. The study also provides a roadmap for BWSSB to change their strategies. She added that the BWSSB had promised to make a few changes which will be made public soon.

(Source:PAC report)

For instance, after the report was out, in August 2016, BWSSB announced that only three forms will be required to get a new water connection after findings from the study pointed to complexities in the procedure.

The survey also found that most consumers were only partially satisfied with the grievance mechanism system of the BWSSB. Yet, only 12.1% consumers were completely satisfied with that mechanism.

T C Sarala Kumari, Public Relation Officer of BWSSB said that the BWSSB can only help people if problems are brought to their notice.

“We provide an online complaint forum and other ways for people to come and talk to us about their problems. But if people are not willing to approach us, there isn’t really anything we can do about it,” she said.








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