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Your CM on your phone, laptop

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OUR CORRESPONDENT   |   Published 07.01.12, 12:00 AM

Ranchi, Jan. 6: Arjun Munda is now aapka CM on your Twitterverse. Get direct access to your chief minister from your Facebook or Twitter accounts and tell him about your grievances.

Or else, just dial the toll-free number (0657) 3059999 or send an email to and narrate your woes. The chief minister and his secretariat will personally look into the matter.

The Jharkhand chief minister today launched a grievance management system, which in its hi-tech avatar, aims to use information technology for better and transparent governance, enabling people to state their bona fide grievances directly through multiple platforms — phone calls, fax, email, even social network platform Facebook or micro-blogging site Twitter.

If successful, it can put him in the league of chief ministers known for pitching information technology for better governance — e-governance in short — such as Bihar’s Nitish Kumar, Gujarat’s Narendra Modi, Delhi’s Sheila Dikshit or Jammu & Kashmir’s Omar Abdullah.

“My effort through this system is to bridge the gaps in communication between citizens and governance. Gradually, we will see if the need arises for more such efforts across different departments,” Munda said.

In fact, it seems Munda has stolen a march over Nitish Kumar in using IT to get across to people. While the Bihar government website has an internal link “Write to CM”, Munda will directly monitor the grievance management system on his PC desktop.

But while Munda takes extra steps on the information superhighway, Nitish is undertaking a series of “janata durbars” and “seva yatras” across Bihar to get in touch with citizens directly.

The launch at the chief minister’s Kanke residence saw a gathering of IT secretary Satendra Singh, home secretary J.B. Tubid, food and civil supplies secretary Rajbala Verma, agriculture secretary A.K. Singh the chief minister’s principal secretary D.K. Tiwari and mediapersons.

The mechanism of people reaching out to the chief minister with their grievances has been kept simple. Munda, unlike his Jammu & Kashmir counterpart, will not personally be on Twitter.

The email id will be linked with Facebook and Twitter to enable the computer-savvy to key in their problems, while the phone number 3059999, will, via 30 call centre operators, will prepare a detailed list of complaints for the chief minister.

Munda, known to be reasonably tech-savvy, can also go through complaints on his personal computer that have been listed by call centres of other state government departments, such as the existing one run by Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB).

“The state government will issue advertisements in newspapers tomorrow about the toll-free number and email id,” Munda told newsmen on the sidelights of the launch.

From tomorrow, the call centre and, installed by Cyber Swift Infotech Pvt Ltd of Calcutta, will start functioning, initially to address complaints related to public distribution system and paddy procurement centres. Five of the 30 proposed extensions of the call centre will operate tomorrow. Each complainant will be sent a referral number through an SMS for future use.

Public distribution system or distribution of essential commodities such as wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene to the poor is usually riddled with graft, thanks to red tape and middlemen. And the 564 paddy procurement centres across Jharkhand are run to ensure that farmers get a minimum support price for their produce.

The grievance redress system has the potential to be a landmark for Jharkhand. But, for starters, it will be interesting to see Twitter users, usually yuppie urban youngsters, react to kerosene corruption.

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