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Talk to CMC bosses via Zoom for speedy resolution of grievance

Need for online meetings was felt during the pandemic, but the civic body plans to go ahead with such sessions even when Covid situation comes under control
Municipal commissioner Binod Kumar
Municipal commissioner Binod Kumar
Telegraph Picture

Subhajoy Roy   |   Calcutta   |   Published 08.06.21, 12:56 AM

Residents of the city can now talk to the municipal commissioner of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation through Zoom twice a week and seek a speedy resolution of their grievances.

The municipal commissioner will be available on Zoom every Wednesday and Saturday, from 11am till noon.

The special municipal commissioner will hold such sessions every Tuesday and Thursday between 11am and noon.

The necessity of online meetings was felt during the pandemic, but the civic body plans to go ahead with such sessions even when the Covid situation comes under control.

“A lot of people find it difficult to visit the civic headquarters. Also, it is prudent for our safety as well their safety that we keep the physical interactions on hold for the time being. Therefore, we have decided to have online meetings where people can speak about their grievances”, said Binod Kumar, the municipal commissioner of the CMC.

Kumar, however, pointed out that he had not stopped meeting visitors in-person but urged residents to use the online facility to minimise physical interactions as a precaution against Covid.

“We may continue with the online meetings even when the pandemic is under control because problems can be addressed through online talks. People need not take the trouble of coming to the civic headquarters,” he said.

The first such session was held on Saturday where five Calcuttans raised issues like water supply, drainage problems and Covid vaccination.

Those who log in through Zoom will be made to wait in a virtual queue.

“There is a way where people can be kept in a queue during Zoom meetings. I will talk to one person at a time. Whoever joins first will talk first. The person who joins the queue second will speak after the first person and this way the interactions will continue,” Kumar told Metro.

The meeting ID to talk to the municipal commissioner or the special municipal commissioner is 83003173829 and the passcode is 111111.

While people can raise any issue with the municipal commissioner, the special municipal commissioner will deal with issues like assessment collection, property tax, amusement tax, car parking and matters related to licence and CMC-run markets.

A section of civic officials said the decision to hold online meetings would benefit citizens immensely as the municipal commissioner, being the executive head of the civic body, was a key decision maker and he didn’t need instructions from anyone on operational issues and matters concerning delivery of civic services.

“Visiting a government office is not an enjoyable experience and that too if the person is going to meet the head of that organisation. The online meetings will make people more comfortable and confident in raising their complaints,” said a businessman who has to visit government offices frequently.

Some people linked the online sessions with the municipal commissioner to the broader plan to take administration to people’s doorsteps and make the levers of government more accessible to the people.

“Like Duare Sarkar took the government to people’s doorsteps, this too seems like an effort to take the municipal government to people’s doorsteps. It is an excellent idea,” said Anjan Ukil, an architect, who has to visit various government offices.

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