In an attempt to widen its reach to citizens, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has launched its own Facebook page.
A presence on Facebook, NDMC officials believe, will help the civic body in two ways. One, it will open up the organisation considered a closed body that lacks transparency to the public. Two, the move, they believe, will help senior officials within NDMC keep a tab on the various departments of the council.
An initiative of its newly appointed chairperson, Jalaj Srivastava, the Facebook page will be monitored by senior officials of the council. Citizens, through their posts, can draw the attention of NDMC officials to various civic problems.
The chairperson is even considering going public on Twitter. With almost every senior official owning a smartphone today, it is a good way to redress problems that people in the councils jurisdiction, Srivastava said.
People may ask why Facebook? The council should have gone public on the social networking site long ago. People may or may not check their e-mails but they surely do check Facebook or Twitter. So, if they know we are available to address any issue, whether it is a complaint related to sanitation or something else, they can lodge their complaints without much effort, the chairperson said.
Though the response time is yet to be decided, Srivastava believed it would be quick.
O P Mishra, (director projects), NDMC, has been given charge of looking after the Facebook page and ensuring that the complaints are addressed by the department concerned.
Already, we have received two complaints on Facebook and we are taking steps to address them, Mishra said.
The NDMC Facebook page carries several pictures like the Palika Bhawan building, gardens and India Gate.