J&K citizens air grievances through ‘Pukaar’ | GAD registers upswing in redressal rate from 10 % to around 60 %  

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Representational ImageFile/ GK

Jammu, Feb 13: Proper feedback-reversion mechanism has enhanced the rate of redressing grievances of common people through the “Pukaar” helpline of the General Administration Department (GAD) from 10 percent in the month of November, 2021 to 55.78 percent in the month of December, 2022.

 Earlier, “Pukaar” would be referred to as “Grievance Cell”, established by the General Administration Department for hassle-free and smooth reaching out of the general public to all Administrative Secretaries and other officers of Administrative Departments. 

“This helpline has been christened as Pukaar, and a team of officials within the GAD have been assigned the task of registration of grievances of the general public. The earlier call centre was rudimentary. After its re-christening, we are trying to make one-point contact for the common people. Now we are trying to make it 24X7. “Pukaar”- actually means “Call.” We are planning to modernise it with Voice Recording System (VRS),” official sources informed Greater Kashmir.

They maintain that at present, VRS is not there but it is the future plan of expansion of “Pukaar.” “To make it 24X7, man power is being augmented. To implement it at the state level, there are a lot of policy and Human Resource issues which need to be resolved to move to the next stage,” they add.

Five dedicated telephone numbers have been installed in the GAD on which people can call for registration of their grievances. The telephone numbers for the purpose include 0194-2506144; 0194-2506115; 0194-2506102; 0194-2506111 and 0194-2506112.

These requests or grievances are forwarded to the respective Departments for their redressal with the directions that the concerned applicant be intimated about the disposal of requests or grievances on their respective telephone numbers. Each department has notified a Nodal Officer for the purpose of liaisoning with the GAD regarding redressal of grievances registered through the Pukaar helpline.

“Till date more than 3000 grievances have been registered on the helpline, and more than 1500 grievances have been redressed. Besides, the dedicated Minority Grievance Redressal Cell received 522 registered grievances and all of them have been redressed through concerted efforts. The rate of redressal of grievances has increased from 10 percent in the month of November, 2021 to 55.78% in the month of December, 2022,” sources reveal.

“It is imperative to point out here that certain grievances involve huge financial implications and are required to be placed in the subsequent years financial budget or plan so that funds are properly earmarked for such grievances or works to be taken up. As such, while the grievance cannot be said to have been redressed in full, steps are taken to ensure that the request is registered with the concerned authorities and appropriate action, permissible under law, is taken accordingly,” official sources explain the mechanism.

According to them, the redressal rate, while on the upswing, has been further boosted by a proper feedback-reversion mechanism.  Periodic review of grievances, operationalization of the cell on a 24X7 basis and specific ATRs on grievances being sought from departments have been projected to further improve the efficacy of the Pukaar helpline.

Another GAD initiative Swagatam, which is actually based on the initiative by the Government of India to facilitate the common man, is also being linked to Pukaar.

Swagatam facility enables the citizens to have a smooth and simple process of making an appointment. It bridges the gap between the government and the common man and enhances the opportunity of a common man to meet a government officer, hassle free. It has advanced features of eliminating all the cumbersome and tedious procedures of making a request for an appointment and then visiting the premises.

“Swagatam is a cloud based application software with an easy to use graphical interface and embedded with comprehensive security features. This is a unified and centralized application which is already in place in many government offices, ministries  and Bhawans of the Government of India. On the same lines, the system has also been implemented in the Civil Secretariat, Jammu as well as Srinagar,” they state.

Cloud based application can cater to ‘pre booked’ as well as ‘over the counter appointments’ with officers in the Civil secretariat; it allows reception registering of visitors directly, real time monitoring of visitors; and assists in maintaining all-relevant information about the visitor, which is automatically saved in a database.

“This visitor data will be linked to the ‘Pukaar’ call centre, which is Secretariat or GAD Common Call Centre, based in Srinagar. Randomly, the applicants will be called to see whether their issues have been resolved or not. This will serve a twin purpose - one we will come to know as to how many people have visited the Secretariat and for what purpose and whether that issue has been resolved or not. In the days to come, this Swagatam system is to be linked with Pukaar Grievance Cell and Rapid Assessment System (RAS) for follow-up and evaluation,” sources inform.

The portal for Jammu & Kashmir Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme was launched in September, 2022 which enables the dependents of the deceased government employees to apply for compassionate appointments in electronic mode rather than in manual mode to ensure seamless and timely disposal of cases related to compassionate appointments.

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