Namma Chennai app is ‘App’solutely great

‘App’solutely great

The Namma Chennai app allows its users to register civic grievances that range from potholes on the road to pesky mosquitoes in the neighbourhood.

Entertain the thought of filing a complaint about a civic issue and the first image that comes to mind is that of unending visits to government offices standing in endlessly long lines to register your complaint, right? You may never know when it will be resolved. Running from pillar to post to fix things is a thing of the past now, thanks to technology and the various efforts of the government to include them in the administration.

How it works

The Namma Chennai app was launched by the Greater Chennai Corporation in the last week of January. Available on Android and iOS platforms currently, it allows Chennai residents to record civic grievances through the application. The app records the phone number and name and takes you to the screen where you can choose between ‘Citizen’, ‘Official’ and ‘Management’ to lodge the complaint. Garbage, public health, water stagnation, park and playground, road and footpath, street light and public toilet are some among of the categories for which one can seek redressal through the app. “In the last three months, the app has been downloaded about 30,000 times. It takes less than a minute to register, which is why it can easily be used by the public. The government is planning to introduce many more services relating to civic services (which will be related to Chennai Corporation). We started with grievances and wanted to see the response to that, based on which we plan to introduce other things. The response has been overwhelming. More than 4,000 complaints have been registered,” says an official from the Electronic Data Processing cell of the government.

The official further adds that each complaint is automatically redirected to the concerned department. “Each complaint has a work flow and Service Level Agreement (SLA). There is a deadline for each kind of complaint, such as one day for garbage clearance or to resolve mosquito menace. There will be a follow-up activity to ensure that the officials close the complaint within a specified time period. This will ensure that the basic problem is fixed,” the official says.

The app has undergone several rounds of fine-tuning in the last few months. “We had to do that to improve the performance of the app. Based on usage statistics, we know the performance of the app on the backend. Then, we isolate the issues and rectify them so that the app does not crash. We have also fixed basic design issues such as the placement of two buttons close to each other,” says an official from the Corporation.

Into the App

1. Management – Refers to the management team of the corporation, a group of bureaucrats who will have access to all of the information recorded on the app.

2. Official – For officials in charge of operations, which include the list of tasks pending, escalation of a task, update and review.

3. Citizen – Applicable to the public. It includes services available under the ‘Online Civic Services’ tab of the official website of the Chennai Corporation. With the app, it only becomes easier for the public to lodge a complaint.

4. 1913 – An additional helpline number that can be used to lodge a complaint.

Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai