Mayor to lend ear to grievances of people every Wednesday

Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim will now listen to the grievances of city dwellers from 3pm to 4pm every Wednesday over telephone, with a view to improve civic services. This is the first time such a step has been taken by a Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).

Aggrieved people can call up Hakim on the toll-free number 1800 345 1213 and report their grievances. The programme titled "Talk to Mayor" will

be held for one hour every Wednesday. Hakim said the complaints he will receive over the phone will be addressed immediately.

"I feel it will help improve the services provided by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)," he said. Senior civic officials said those who will call up the Mayor should register their complaints in a straight and to-the-point manner.

Hakim will also sit in the office of Borough IX to listen to the grievances of the people. However, the date from when he will sit in the Borough office has not been decided yet.

During the 'Talk to Mayor' sessions, all senior officials including the municipal commissioner Khalil Ahmed, all the director generals, chief engineers and senior officials will be present at the Mayor's chamber so that the complaints get addressed immediately.

If the grievances are not addressed within a week, the senior officials will have to justify the delay in resolving the issues. It may be mentioned that after becoming the Mayor in January, Hakim had given his WhatsApp number to register complaints. But the need for more was felt and so the new method of listening to people on a specific day and hour has been introduced.

It may be mentioned that besides the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh is regularly visiting different areas in connection with anti-dengue drives and collection of house tax arrears. Other members, Mayor-in-Council (MMICs) and councillors are visiting different areas as well. But despite this, Hakim felt that his direct contact with the city dwellers will help KMC provide better service.

In addition to this, the KMC will also call up 100 people everyday to know about the civic services that include supply of drinking water, removal of garbage and maintenance of roads and street lights, among others.

On the occasion of Doctors' Day celebrated throughout the state on Monday, KMC authorities have introduced the new system of giving stipend of Rs 398 per day to the priests working at the crematoriums in the city, who perform certain rituals before cremation.

Until now, these priests did not get any stipend from KMC and survived solely on the money given by the mourners. There are seven crematoriums run by KMC in Kolkata, with 40 priests working in them.

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