Over 4.5 lakh civic issues- related complaints were made by people to authorities last year, an increase of 27 per cent from the corresponding figure in 2015, a city-based NGO today claimed. Releasing a white paper on the issues, Praja Foundation also said, West Zone under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) saw the highest number (61,939) of civic complaints in 2016. Incidentally, the release of the white paper come a day ahead of the mayoral election in the SDMC, where the BJP is set to get the top post unopposed. "Overall complaints in Delhi city also rose by 27 per cent from 3,54,788 in 2015 to 4,51,494 in 2016," the white paper says. As per the data procured by it, the NGO said, Narela saw the highest percentage increase (56 per cent) in the number of complaints, from 2015 to 2016. The NGO has also compared the topics mentioned in party manifestos with the issues on the same topics raised by councillors. "The analysis has thrown up some interesting findings. For example, the BJP and the Congress asked only seven and one question respectively about resident welfare associations (RWAs). This is in spite of the fact that RWAs find prominent mention in the manifestos of both the parties," it claimed. Among major civic issues, citizen complaints on pollution and water supply saw the most increase from 2015 to 2016-by 52 per cent and 51 per cent respectively.
However, the number of issues raised by MLAs on pollution decreased from 24 to 8. "Data such as this indicates why elected representatives must constantly pay heed to citizens' voices. The massive civic problems that Delhi faces, such as pollution, did not arise overnight. "On several points, our data suggests consistent apathy on the part of elected representatives in the face of clearly increasing public concern," Nitai Mehta, Founder and Managing Trustee of Praja Foundation, said. The report found that although the Aam Aadmi party had laid emphasis on improving water supply, its MLAs only raised 23 and 30 issues on it from 2015 to 2016. In the same period, civic complaints on water supply increased by 51 per cent from 1,50,885 in 2015 to 2,27,444 in 2016.