Currently, there are nearly 170 contractors, small and big, with PWD (Roads) at Dibrugarh rural division Credit: EastMojo image 

Tinsukia: The Public Works Department (Roads) of upper Assam’s Dibrugarh rural division on Monday facilitated a WhatsApp number to enable citizens to register their grievances directly with the department concerned

The initiative is a step towards bridgIng the existing gap between residents of the district with the PWD department over road-related complaints.

The step comes in the backdrop of a recent meeting, chaired by deputy commissioner of Dibrugarh, Pallav Gopal Jha, along with Dibrugarh MLA, PWD (Rural) officials, contractors and members of the Dibrugarh Press Club on whose initiative the meeting was called to address the road conditions of this town in upper Assam.

Speaking with EastMojo, the executive engineer of PWD (Dibrugarh Rural Road Division) Bikash Panging expressed that based on a decision taken during a recently held meeting the department has decided to launch the WhatsApp number to empower citizens to register their complaints with the department for timely redressal of their issues.

“Any person can lodge their complaint with details and photos (if available) through WhatsApp at 7637920921,” he added.

Residents can register their grievances by sending a message on WhatsApp with details to 763792092

Panging further stated that the aim behind the move is to open direct communication between citizens and the department. At times, when citizens who have issues with the existing road condition or road construction, submit their complaint to the district administration or other departments and hence it takes much time for the complaint to reach us.

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“This initiative will reduce the time and help in timely redressal of the grievance,” Panging said

Pointing out to some other benefits of the initiative, Panging also expressed that there may be circumstances when a grievance related to a particular road does not fall under the department’s jurisdiction; for example a road maybe with NHIDCL or civic body and the citizen may not be aware but in that case PWD shall play the role of a catalyst by forwarding such grievance to the concerned authorities without further delay.

Panging also informed that district deputy commissioner has instructed PWD authorities to blacklist the contractors who do not do quality work and complete their work in time. He also said that the department has been asked to prepare a fresh deadline for all existing road construction works underway and ensure that the work is completed as per the new deadline.

“Good contractors will be rewarded to encourage them,” he added.

Currently, there are nearly 170 contractors, small and big, are with PWD (Roads) at Dibrugarh rural division.

According to sources, it is only because of the initiative of the Dibrugarh press fraternity and the proactive role of deputy commissioner Pallav Gopal Jha that has left the district’s PWD department shaken.

Expressing his views with EastMojo, secretary of Dibrugarh Press Club, Anil Poddar informed that bad road conditions, non-timely completion of road constructions and repairing works have been causing immense harassment to local residents and commuters of the district.

“The strictness with which DC Jha dealt the matter in the meeting made a vital difference,” Poddar said.

Poddar also revealed that DC has expressed anguish over non-timely construction of road contracts and warned the department officials as well as the contractors in front of everyone.

“DC has asked to blacklist those contractors who do not perform,” he said.

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