BMC helps Mumbaikars tackle #MumbaiRains, one tweet at a time

BMC joins Twitter in a bid to help Mumbaikars tackle #MumbaiRains; responds to complaints made online and shares results.

Monsoon has hit Mumbai hard this year and worst case scenarios are happening in every corner of the city. However, there is something different in the mix this year. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has joined the world of Twitter and is doing its best to visibly make a difference to the lives of Mumbaikars and people living in the cities around.

Tuesday afternoon, a former-journalist shared his horrifying experience of having survived a fall in an open manhole on Twitter, tagging the BMC handle. Within three hours, the spot was fixed and BMC shared the picture, thanking him for bringing it to their notice and apologising to him.

Last month, a few things happened in quick succession, changing the way Mumbai’s municipality interacted with distressed people in the city. They changed the name of the handle form one dedicated to disaster management to @mybmc and created accounts for all wards in the city. The intention is to put across verified information in real time.

Sunchika Pandey, known for her work in bridging the gaps between the Mumbai Police and locals in the city is now working as a consultant with BMC too.

She says the creative work hasn’t started yet for currently the focus is on helping people in distress and disseminating information. Her team is currently assisting the BMC officials to effectively use the platform.

It was found by the BMC that many people don’t know which ward they live in. This makes it difficult for them to be able to complain. One of the first steps taken by the municipality is to make people aware of the basic information and disseminate control room contacts and handle names for all wards. The BMC is proactively trying to make people aware of the basics.

Wards too are sharing updates, effectively expanding the scope of information dissemination to a hyperlocal level.

Similar to the way Indian Railways function on Twitter, the BMC is also forwarding information and complaints to specific handles. This step essentially helps Mumbaikars to track updates on their complaints and makes the process a documented one in the public domain. It also increases visible accountability on the part of the municipality.

They are also sharing visuals from the control room in an attempt to pacify people that they are doing the best they can and Mumbaikars must keep faith in them. Of course, there has been a lot of backlashes. However, there are plenty of people appreciating their work too.

Do you have suggestions on how BMC can make the initiative more effective? Comment below or write to us at [email protected] We will try to put those suggestions across to the team.