What’s wrong with Namma Chennai & Swachhata apps

Chennai: It has been a little more than a year since Namma Chennai app was launched for citizens to make use of it and carry out civic complaints in case a daily garbage collector did not show up, for instance.

Ambattur residents are a lively lot who indulge in social life. News Today spoke with a couple of social activists to know what is good with the app and what is not.

Viswanathan from Chittu Oragadam in Ambattur is one person who constantly strives for the welfare of his society. He has been using the Namma Chennai app well enough to talk about it.

“I get good response and problems get cleared in a day. I file complaints after going on rounds every night,” he said.

However, according to the activist, the Swachhata app launched by the Union Ministry of Urban Development has more features than Tamilnadu app.

“The main pain point with Namma Chennai (NC) app is that it is available only in English. If a person who does not know the foreign language, he or she cannot do anything,” said Viswanathan.

“Swachhata is GPS-enabled and there are only two steps to file a complaint. In NC, we have to fill out everything. Also, there is no notification from the government upon rectification of a job. We need to follow up to know details about the complaint we made,” he added.

According to him, Swachhata is better simply because it has Tamil language option. But all is not bad though, for Viswanathan says using such app helps him build a god rapport with government officers. “They are eager to help and are cooperative,” he says.

Asked why more and more people do not use the apps, he said awareness is lacking big time. “Namma Chennai app has crossed only a little over one lakh downloads in PlayStore. People lack awareness,” said Viswanathan.

Pavithra Ravi, from Ambattur too had her hand at trying the apps but says she calls up 1913, the emergency number for civic complaints directly nowadays. “The app does not work well. It has become unresponsive for a month. I just prefer making calls nowadays,” said the professor-turned-activist.

One thing Pavithra has in common with Viswanathan is she too takes a stroll every day. “I walk for an hour along a five km radius and in different directions on a daily basis. That one hour is me doing my part for the society.”

Asked what pain points she has found with the apps, Pavithra says, “Namma Chennai app does not have Tamil language option and for Swachhata, the complaint gets forwarded to the civic authorities anyway, so the best option is to call the helpline.”

The helpline however has its irritable quirks too she says. “Nobody will pick my call until noon. So, that is an issue with the complaint line,” she said.┬áThe government has more work on their hands to make the applications user-friendly, stated the activists.

Praveen Kumar S