Undaunted by the furore created by her decision to get ministers to monitor each other’s work related to the Commonwealth Games, Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is now planning to extend the privilege to not just MLAs but also citizens.
The government, she told on Wednesday, will announce the opening of a control room very soon where people can call with problems ranging from broken roads to non-functioning streetlights to the greenery not having come up well to a disused police post somewhere in the city — virtually anything. She will herself monitor some of the complaints to ensure a smooth run-up to the Games.
But more than being just a complaint helpline, she says it will be a control room where ground level feedback can be given by anybody. "We will announce the number in the next 3-4 days" she says, making it very clear that any feedback on the state of the city from just about anybody will be more than welcome.
"When I go somewhere and find potholes on the road, I immediately ring up the PWD minister. But I do not know what is happening in Shanti Path or say Vikas Marg unless I actually get there. When you are coming from UP the lights are there and suddenly when you enter Delhi there are no lights and that happens almost till ITO bridge. We need citizens and MLAs to call us up and tell us about all these things. It is about reporting observations and giving feedback,’’ Dikshit said.
There is already a similar helpline run by the lieutenant governor’s office but will this be any different? Dikshit says she is not aware of the functioning of the L-G’s Listening Post but is keen on knowing about the feedback. "A lot of it I will monitor myself," she promised, adding this is her idea and discussions will need to happen to decide the contours of the control room.
Going on to categorically deny reports that the cross-department monitoring of Games projects by ministers is very much on, she said "order has not been withdrawn and all the confusion was misplaced because it is not as if we were handing one minister’s charge to another. It is very simple.
All of us go about the city all day and anything that we see amiss, be it a broken curb or streetlights burning during the day, we should report it," says the CM.
She is very keen on similar response from MLAs for their constituencies and is evidently keen to be privy to as much of this information as possible. It may even build a sense of ownership and responsibility among citizens, she feels.