Sakala helps citizen get compensation

A 36-year-old aerospace engineer bought his first car in January 2013 but ran from pillar to post for five months to get his vehicle’s registration certificate in the smart card format. But he was pleasantly surprised to receive a cheque of Rs 500 for the delayed delivery of service.

Santhosh P Nargund had applied for the smart card under Sakala, the state government’s time-bound delivery of services scheme, at theKoramangala RTO. His letters to the transport commissioner didn’t result in much action. TheSakala Helpline too wasn’t of much help as transport officials hadn’t given him the complaint acknowledgement number.

But a persistent Santosh complained to Sakala Mission director Shalini Rajneesh. As expected, the files moved smoothly and Santhosh became the ninth Sakala applicant to get compensation.

“It was a struggle to get the smart card even after paying a road tax of Rs 49,000. RTO officials had goofed up with my application and kept saying it had been issued and said I should apply for a duplicate. I refused and asked them to show me the proof of dispatch, which they couldn’t. I checked with my post office too and no such registered post had been sent to my address,” said Santhosh.

Santhosh’s glad his problem has been solved but said: “Can everyone escalate the matter like I did by sending a mail to the Sakala Mission director? Why can’t we have a citizen-friendly system?”

Santhosh said RTO officials pressurized him to withdraw his complaint. “I was called for the hearing in the transport department, but I didn’t go. As per the Sakala law, an applicant affected by delay in service can demand compensation and needn’t attend any hearing,” said Santhosh.

Subverting scheme

Sakala Mission director Shalini Rajneesh said non-issuance of Guarantee of Service to Citizen(GSC) number in cases of complaints pertaining to food & civil supplies, revenue and transport departments had come to their notice. “Over 250 citizens complained to the call centre about non-issue of GSC number. This was intentionally done by officials in some cases and in others, it was a technical glitch. The chief secretary has warned officials concerned about such defaults,” said Shalini Rajneesh.

Sakala stats

Total complaints received: 2,95,37,534

Complaints disposed of: 2,85,55,291

Compensation given: 43

* After a complaint is lodged, applicants’ grievance are redressed. Not everyone prefers an appeal to seek compensation

Source: Sakala Mission ,TOI

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