District Grievances Cells in dormancy

The relevance and the importance of a Public Grievance Cell hardly needs to be stressed upon and to have it in full operational mode is a touchstone of any administration to judge how much was it people friendly. Where an aggrieved citizen could have one’s problems heard to be followed by the resolution thereof, of course, under rules and procedures is very important. It is not that the Government is not seized of the gravity of the matter in order to provide relief to a distressed, rather a wronged citizen – which speaks for the explicit directives in respect of establishment of District Grievances Cell. Not only to have them for name sake or filling in blank columns on some periodic statements or returns was important but to have them as dedicated, fully operational and really functional was much needed.
It is, however, found with dismay that majority of such cells are not being taken seriously by many District Development Commissioners of the State. The concept of “Public Darbars” is found confined to exist on papers only which glaringly violate the objective behind setting up of these Grievances Cells. Each district headquarter of the state headed either by the Additional District Development Commissioner or by the Additional Deputy Commissioner is mandated, vide General Administration Department directives, to head the Grievances Cell which would have a supporting staff as well to make these cells public centric and effective in their purpose.
Vesting these cells with online facilities in tune with and aiming at circumventing hassles in respect of paper work and personal appearances every time, grievances were decided to be received through online portal also in addition to by post or in person on all working days. For this, office of the Deputy Commissioner is supposed to create a “dedicated webpage” and notify the same for information of the general public. The entire idea would look more interesting, however, as per the directives that within 15 days on receipt of a particular grievance, action as warranted would be taken, about which the applicant would duly be communicated within next 5 days . In other words , the redress(al) process would be all over within 20 days.
What has, in reality, been found is that majority of the Deputy Commissioners of the state have not created any dedicated webpage for the purpose. If one is created, that is not functional. Have these Web Pages been “managed” to show error thereby making sure neither to receive any grievance nor to take trouble to redress one, confirms to the proverbial saying – if the sky falls , we shall catch larks. This all must be made known by means of discreet inquiries as to why either there is no webpage in respect of many districts or in some others, despite claiming to have toll free numbers for conveying grievances, there is no response from any of the officials whenever a telephone call was made.
This all, we are constrained to say, looks like a farce more than any facility let alone resolving the problem of an aggrieved citizen. When directives of the Government are not implemented and complied with by the functionaries of the Government itself and they go scot free and believe, perhaps, public and their problems mattered a naught for them, it is prosaically a piquant situation which leads people to feel disenchanted and disinterested about tall claims made by the Government about grievances redress(al) mechanism and Public Darbars et -al.