The portfolios handled by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have received the maximum number of public complaints in the past two years, averaging around 12,205 per month, an RTI query has revealed here on Monday.
RTI and social activist Anil Galgali had sought details of the number of complaints made to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and other departments and their current status.
The CMO’s Public Information Officer (PIO) Vaishali Chavathe replied that in the 20 months since November 2014, the CMO has received 244,112 complaints relating to 31 government departments.
Of these, the maximum complaints pertain to the Home, Revenue, Urban Development, General Administration and Rural Development departments.
Three of these — barring Revenue and Rural Development — are handled by Fadnavis himself.
According to the RTI reply, Home tops the list with 71,475 complaints, Revenue and Forests is a distant second with 24,293, followed by Urban Development’s 15,388, General Administration’s 9,461 and Rural Development at 9,368.
While clocking an average of 12,205 complaints per month, the five departments alone account for 53.24 per cent of the total public complaints, the PIO said.
Other major departments with many public complaints include Industry and Energy and Labour (8765), Housing (8608), Textiles and Marketing (7776), School education (7101), Animal husbandry and Dairy development (6382), Public Works Department (5166), Law and Judiciary (4640), Public health (4193), Social Justice (3877), Higher and Technical education (3693), Food and Civil supply (2875), Medical Education (2458), Finance (2288), Water resources (1830), Planning (1186) Directorate-General of Information and Public relations (1189).
The other departments with lesser complaints include: Minorities Affairs (924), Tourism and Culture department (845), Tribal (807), Chief Secretary’s office (724), Environment (667), Employment and Self-employment (602), Water supply (597), Women and Child welfare (370), Marathi dept (181) and Parliamentary Affairs (107).
However, Galgali said the CMO could not provide complaints pertaining to the Employment and Self-employment department for nearly 12 months since July 2015 onwards.
In a letter to Fadnavis, Galgali drew his attention to the fact that "the problem of common man is not addressed by the respective departments, making them write to the CM for redressal."
"The CM should tighten the grievance redressal system in the respective departments, by passing instructions to the department heads, which will lead to lessening of the load on the CMO, which will enable the CMO to divert attention towards other pressing problems in the State," Galgali urged.
The increased numbers of complaints also highlights the inactiveness of the department heads for which remedial measures should be initiated, he suggested.