//Sutharya Keralam portal a hit; 35,000 complaints in 10 months

Sutharya Keralam portal a hit; 35,000 complaints in 10 months

Saturday January 28 2006

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Sutharya Keralam portal hosted 10 months ago as part of the Sutharya Keralam project has so far received over 35,000 complaints from the general public addressed to the Chief Minister.

According to officials, around 40 percent of the complaints received turned out to be genuine cases and the timely redressal of such complaints was almost cent percent.

The Sutharya Keralam programme, aimed at ensuring transparency in governance in the state, is fast becoming popular as the number of grievances to the Chief Minister’s Grievance Redressal Cell and the rate of redressal of genuine grievances among them are touching new heights.

For instance, around 23 employees of the University of Kerala were liberated from the legal tangles for getting promotions due to them recently.

This was upon a complaint filed by Purushothaman, an employee of the university, through the Sutharya Keralam portal that the employees in the university were denied promotion sans departmental test once they are above the age of 50.

Though such a system is prevalent in other universities, it was not followed by the Kerala University.

The rush of complaints to the portal began after the Public Relations Department (PRD), which manages the portal, made a tie-up with the Kerala State IT Mission to use its Citizen Call Centre facility here. This has enabled the complainants to make calls to the centre over the phone number 155300 and register their complaints.

The staff at the call centre transcript the complaints into English with contact details and rush them to the Sutharya Keralam portal. �Right now we get at least 50 calls a day,� sources said.

Complaints can be registered through the call centre from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The complainants will be given an ID which he/she can use to know about the action taken on his/her complaint.

According to the PRD officials, most of the complaints are about delay in getting sanctions and certificates from local bodies, about revenue offices and also against police officials. Complaints on denial of educational loans and requests for financial assistance on humanitarian grounds also constitute a major chunk of the grievances.

The complaints received in the portal are sent to the respective department for action and the action taken on them are monitored. If the issues cannot be sorted out by the officials, the Chief Minister himself looks into the matter and takes appropriate decision.