SARATHI draws national attention, PCMC corporators cut to size

PuneThe SARATHI helpline number is 8888006666

Even as top officers from across the country, including those from the Central government, are descending on Pimpri-Chinchwad to take a peek into this e-governance initiative that has earned national acclaim for Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, SARATHI continues to blaze a trail. While citizens in the twin industrial town are increasingly taking to SARATHI, corporators are grumbling that they are fast losing their importance and identity.

SARATHI, a short form for System of Assisting Residents and Tourists Through Helpline Information, was inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Independence Day this year. In just over 100 days, the SARATHI helpline centre (8888 00 6666) has received as many as 5,747 complaints from citizens, of which 90 per cent are claimed to have been resolved. As many 10,636 calls have been received from citizens seeking information regarding various civic services, civic departments, modes of making applications, seeking permissions and related things.

As on December 1, 2013,

the SARATHI website (pcmchelpline.in) had received 39,000 hits. On an average, it receives 152 calls per day and 361 hits on its website. Of these, 65 per cent are information seekers and 35 per cent are complainants.

What has wowed the residents is the fact that the solution to their grievance remains just a call away as also "crucial information" regarding documents to be submitted for getting their applications for various work processed. "We had lodged a complaint with SARATHI regarding the tiles loosely fixed on the road near our residence. PCMC officials visited us the very next day and the work started and finished in no time," said Anita Landge, a resident of Kasarwadi.

Suhas Kulkarni (43), a resident of Shubham Society, Shahu Nagar, had a complaint that his society had not received water for two days. "The complaint was filed on October 27 and in two days, the officials told us that my complaint had been resolved. I also received an SMS to the effect. Since then, we haven't had any water problem."

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