Citizens can soon report encroachments online

Following the success of its pothole tracking system, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to start a portal which will have information of the existing land use in the city so that citizens can lodge complaints against illegal construction. This is part of the civic administration's new project to create a universal website for citizens to lodge complaints on various civic issues and to track the time taken in redressal.

Additional Municipal Commissioner, Rajeev Jalota, said: "The IT department is working on it. We are considering collaborating with the development plan department for this project and planning to launch the website soon."

A software developer working on the new portal said BMC was now entering into a phase where all operations would be made transparent. "We are trying to work with development plan officials for this, so that citizens are able to identify what is the land use category and if the construction is in violation of that," he said.

He added that as 'plan-B', the list and details of legal construction projects will be uploaded in every ward. "Citizens can go through this list, compare and see if there are any illegal constructions or constructions that are beyond the allowed FSI limit in their areas," he said. Complaints lodged will go to a data-board, from where they will be transferred to the servers of civic departments such as water, sewerage and storm water drains.

"Citizens will only have to download the application for lodging the complaints. people will be able to use this application using their smart phones to upload pictures along with the coordinates of the location," said an IT department official, adding that the website should be launched before the end of 2012.

According to the IT department, the websites to lodge complaints on potholes and uncollected garbage, which are currently separate, will continue to function. However, they will also be linked to the new portal.

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