Swachhta app makes little headway in Chennai
Deccan Chronicle| SHWETA TRIPATHI
Even one year after its launch by Centre for civic issues.
Screenshot of Swachhata app for android.
Chennai: The Swachhta Mobile App was launched by the Union government last year with an aim to address civic related issues as part of the ambitious Swachh Bharat Mission. However, Chennai has been ranked nationally at number 64 when it comes to downloading the app for registration of complaints regarding cleanliness.
The Greater Chennai Corporation claims it has been taking several steps to create awareness among people about the mobile application in the form of pamphlets, banners and campaigns in colleges, but it seems futile with only 4,460 out of 46.5 lakh population of the city using the application.
Swachhta application functions under the supervision of Union government and is available for free which people can download. They can use the app to upload a picture of the place facing civic problems. The location is tracked automatically through GPS system and the uploaded picture is sent to local civic bodies, which are bound to take action within 12 hours.
People say that they are unaware of any such software or mobile application that can help them to solve common civic issues. "We call help line numbers, write complaint letters and wait for action on our problems, which is mostly unanswered. We don’t know there was any such software or mobile application for the same purpose," said P Vishwanathan, a resident of Tambaram.
People also said that there was no public circular about an application to complain about civic issues. Even if it exists, there is no one to explain how to use it. "We do not know how to use mobile applications and smart phone facilities, and it is inaccessible for some of us," said V. Chandrasekhar, a resident of Adyar.
However, Corporation officials say they are focusing on youngsters, who are the largest number of smart phone users in the city and thus, awareness campaigns are being held in schools, colleges and software companies.
"Active participation of people is important for the success of such initiatives. If people cooperate and make use of the application, civic bodies can function effectively. Swachh Survekshan ranking of Chennai, which is at 235 this year can be improved if this mobile application is used by the people," the official added.