Innovative Initiatives in Urban Governance through citizen participation and technology intervention
Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Navi Mumbai is the largest planned city in India with a population of 1,120,547 (as per India Census 2011 data). The city of Navi Mumbai is governed by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). NMMC has focused on citizen and technology led initiatives to address the key problems of the citizens such as, 1. Cumbersome and difficult process for citizens to lodge complaints as they needed to know the name of the department, ward etc. to file a complaint. Their problems and grievances were not addressed on time and involved multiple trips to the Corporation office or required help of the local corporator. Citizens had to run pillar to post to get resolution for their various grievances. 2. No SLA was defined for Grievance redressal and resolution and citizens were required to visit in-person thus bringing in a scope for delays, favoritism and corruption 3. Citizens felt left out as their views, opinions and feedback were not considered in planning and running of the city. 4. Businesses found it difficult to get trade licenses or building plan permissions and involved considerable paperwork and trips to NMMC office 5. The earlier e-Grievance system, building permissions and licenses were not having any provision of alert mechanism for Citizens/officers 6. The earlier e-Grievance system, building permissions and licenses neither had defined timelines nor had any provision for auto escalation of complaints and routing 7. Existing system shows bus schedule on the website, however, the real time availability of buses and information about running buses was not available thereby causing un-necessary inconvenience to citizens for keep waiting for buses and standing at bus stops. 8. Cash payment was prevalent for availing of services and for payment of taxes, bills and bus tickets 9. Payment mechanism for vendors was not defined thereby increased human intervention in processing of payments and therefore timely payments were abysmal 10. There was minimal accountability in addressing issues / concerns of citizens. Absence of tracking and monitoring system made this system disoriented from its objective of providing timely resolution To overcome all the problems and difficulties of citizens as mentioned above, there was an urgent requirement to overhaul the system and initiate new enhanced systems with a fresh approach. The Objective of the NMMC is to provide simple, faceless and accountable governance mechanism embarked on innovation led journey to provide time bound and transparent services to all the citizens of Navi Mumbai. Initiatives helped all the masses across length and breadth of the city.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
1. Time bound and easy redressal of all grievances through a robotic driven online grievance redressal system leading to better citizen services and citizen satisfaction 2. Business process reengineering of all internal processes to ensure ease of doing business in the city and also to move towards the idea of cashless city 3. Efforts to reach out to all citizens through initiatives such as Walk with Commissioner which further ensures citizen participation in planning and budgeting

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The strategy is to leverage IT to reduce the foot fall at NMMC offices, to make administration approachable and eventually to improve citizen satisfaction and participation in city planning and development. The initiatives are intended to benefit the entire population of the city. a) Robotics driven Online Grievance Redressal System. - Automatic routing of the complaint to the concerned department, ward, officer etc. based on type of complaint and location - Dynamic listing of top grievances for quicker submission of grievances - Time bound response within 24 hours and resolution within 7 days for most grievances - System automatically generates a list, based on random sampling to all Additional Commissioners, for review of the quality of resolution. - If the grievance is not addressed on time, the system sends auto-show cause notice to defaulters, and auto escalates to Additional Commissioner and Commissioner - Feedback and Ratings provided by the Citizens are taken as a benchmark by the Municipal Commissioner to evaluate the individual performance of official(s) - In-built Data analytics is used to take proactive measures in more problematic areas and wards b) Walk with Commissioner - The “Walk with Commissioner” is a unique initiative and a regular event undertaken by NMMC wherein the Municipal Commissioner along with senior officials of the Corporation meets citizens in their respective areas/wards. This gives a forum to citizens to share their suggestions, feedback and inputs and thereby participate in planning and development of the city. Till date, 89% issues have been addressed and 11% of these suggestions have been taken up further in the city planning and budgeting for future improvements in the city. - The data obtained through the “Walk with Commissioner” event and Walk-in meeting with the Commissioner at his office is regularly analyzed for trends, studied for proactive measures and deliberated for future planning. - Commissioner Reference: Citizens can also meet the Municipal Commissioner without appointment everyday between 4 pm to 5 pm to raise grievances and to provide their inputs and suggestions in city development. c) Ease of doing business in the city - Single window system for building permissions and trade license reduced the human interventions in application processing and eliminated the need for submitting separate applications for obtaining fire, medical and town planning NOCs - Digitally signed electronic certificates are issued for trade licenses, thus eliminating the need for physical submission of application and collection of certificates - Added convenience by introducing self-certification for various NoCs and Plinth commencement certificate required for construction of a building - Through BPR the number of supporting documents required is reduced by 70%; number of stakeholder involved reduced by 60%; number of steps in file processing reduced by 70%. Eventually, the number of days required in obtaining a license reduced from 45 days to 17 days d) Cashless Initiative - Navi Mumbai is probably the first Municipal Corporation in the country that has eliminated the cash payment. - Citizens can avail any Corporation services through the Portal or Mobile App or Citizen Facilitation Centers by making online payment using their credit card / debit card / net banking / mobile wallet - Host to host payment enabled transparent channel for payment to vendors which reduced human intervention and increased operational convenience for NMMC and vendors. - Online Payment services are also made available in buses and depots through Point of Sale machines. Navi Mumbai is the first city in the State to have implemented such facility - Efforts for implementing Direct Transfer of Benefits to the accounts of the students studying in Municipal Corporation schools is in progress

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The following initiatives implemented have been innovative in nature to cater needs of the citizens 1. Walk with Commissioner and Commissioner Reference: This is the first time that a Municipal Commissioner of a large city is directly meeting and interacting with citizens. This brought Government to the doorstep of citizens instead of citizens having to visit Government office. The perception of citizens has changed from ‘non-responsive administration’ to ‘proactive administration’ and from ‘unapproachable administration’ to ‘citizen centric administration’ 2. E-Grievance system: For the first time in India, a robotics driven Online Grievance Redressal System with built in accountability was introduced with features such as Auto routing of complaints, Auto escalation of complaints, Auto show cause notice generation and Auto sampling of grievances for regular monitoring. 3. Ease of Doing Business: First Municipal Corporation in Maharashtra to implement a single window system for online issuance of licenses and to provide digitally signed certificates 4. Cashless Initiative: NMMC is probably country’s first Municipal Corporation which has given citizens the option of electronic payment through three different channels – Portal, Mobile Application and Point of Sale Terminals. Even before the government enacted demonetization, NMMC was technically ready to facilitate citizens to make cashless transactions.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The initiative was implemented by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra and approximately 14, 00, 000 (fourteen lakhs) citizens and businessmen from across Mumbai Metropolitan area are affected by this initiative
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
NMMC has identified three (3) pillars which are key for the implementation of initiatives. The pillars are – 1. Citizen centricity 2. Ease of doing business 3. Internal efficiency and transparency The snapshot of the three (3) pillars and the key points for consideration for each of them are given below: 1. Citizen Centricity • Zero footfall at NMMC offices • Single window and easy access of information • Citizen comes online, not in line • Transparent and efficient public delivery system • Institutional systemic change to propel accountability and responsibility • Technology driven payment ecosystem 2. Ease of Doing Business • Zero footfall at NMMC offices • Process reengineering with the objective of accountability and reduction in cost and time • Easy availability of information • Scope for online submission • Reduction of unnecessary documents to be submitted • Downloadable certificates with digital signatures • Technology driven payment ecosystem providing multiple options 3. Internal efficiency and transparency • MIS and Dashboard with real time data for quick decision making • Strong grievance management system • Faceless and cashless governance • Training the manpower for skills, competencies to induce digital culture NMMC online grievance redressal system, walk with commissioner, online licenses for ease of doing business, cashless initiatives, etc. are based on the above three pillar. To ensure successful implementation of these initiatives, NMMC focuses on three (3) key approaches Top Management Leadership and Oversight Involvement of the top management is crucial for the success of any project. The reason behind achieving results is due to extensive involvement of the Municipal Commissioner and weekly review meetings with all head of the departments (chaired by the Municipal Commissioner). In these meetings, impact of all initiative is discussed and activities are tracked and monitored and any bottlenecks are addressed. Training, Capacity Building and Employee readiness Capacity building and change management are the most important factors for the success of any initiative in long run. Hence NMMC has given priority to training and capacity building of employees at all levels to make them ready for the change. The implementation of initiatives brings inevitable changes in the routine operations of the departments and in the requirement of their skillsets. Regular capacity building activities focuses on bridging the technical skill gaps and in eliminating the resistance to change. Time-bound, target driven and outcome focused approach NMMC, with a top to bottom approach, has defined a clear objective and measurable goals with defined targets and time frame for each initiative. Due to focused approach of leadership and faster issue resolution, NMMC has achieved the desired results in a short span of time. Following activities were taken by NMMC to ensure the successful implementation of the initiatives, - Understanding the current situation. - Business Process Re-engineering - Stakeholders’ consultation - Taking Citizen’s feedback - Standardization of forms and making system more user friendly - Leverage existing applications and infrastructure - Changes in the software - Capacity building of employees - Continuous improvement and monitoring Online as well as Offline mechanisms are adopted for regular monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives. — Walk with Commissioner, Commissioner Reference and grievance redressal system has been linked with analytics and stored for trend analysis. Analytics driven proactive and preventive measures been undertaken to ensure efficient governance (e.g. weekly data analyzed to identify repeated complaints regarding a particular service or areas and the same is addressed proactively). — The initiatives are reviewed weekly and status of each suggestion and complaint is monitored and any problem arisen thereto is resolved so that better services can be provided to the citizens. The data analytics is also used to take preventive and curative measures by analyzing the problem areas. NMMC, while implementing abovementioned initiatives, has utilized its existing man-force and resources thereby incurring Zero cost to Corporation.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Under the ambit of e-Governance initiatives umbrella, with a fresh vision and goals, NMMC senior management identified need to overhaul the public services delivery and the grievances redressal system. The main driving factors to this need were citizen accessibility and empowerment, better utilization of staff and appraisal of officers on the basis of quality of time bound resolution provided to citizens. The efforts of the corporation to improve citizen service delivery gained acceleration under the dynamic leadership of Shri. Tukaram Mundhe I.A.S., Municipal Commissioner, Navi Mumbai. These initiatives also involved active participation of all Head of the Departments and citizens.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
1. Better citizen services: - 83.61% of grievances (total of 3493 grievances have been registered after system overhaul) have been resolved within 7 days with an overall resolution percentage of 95.11% - Informed and intelligent travel to over more than 3, 00, 000 commuters by providing real time bus information and features like setting of alarms in mobile application - Safe and secure travel by introducing travel Information sharing through Whatsapp & SMS 2. Citizen participation in planning: - Around 2115 suggestions and grievances have been received from citizens during Walk with Commissioner events - The data has been analyzed and more than 93% have been implemented. About 7% of the suggestions have been taken into consideration for planning and budgeting purposes, thus making it a real example of participative governance - Addition of new routes after feedback from the citizens 3. Cashless NMMC: - The first city to enable cashless transactions for all services across all channels (Portal, Mobile and CFC) - The first city transport corporation to enable cashless transaction - The number of transactions have increased by 84% and the tax collection has increased 4.5 times after implementation of the initiative - In cashless, total transactions amounting to ₹ 574,779,472.50 have been completed till 28th February 2017. 4. Ease of doing business: - Trade licenses are issued electronically with digital signature, thus making it easier for traders to obtain license - For Commencement (CC) and Occupancy Certificate (OC) under building permissions, steps have been reduced from 30 to 6, document reduction from 35 to 7 for CC and 15 to 7 for OC. - Stakeholders reduced from 10 to 4 - Plinth certificate under building permission to be given based on self-certification - Citizens/traders need not to visit corporation office These outputs induced the Impact on Decision making/Policy making, enhanced accountability, transparency and participation, social equality and removed corruption and mala-fide practices

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. Problems related to grievance redressal: - Difficult and cumbersome process for citizens to lodge complaints as they needed to know the name of the department, ward etc. to file a complaint - No tracking and monitoring of the complaints and no service levels for resolution - Citizen had to visit in-person thus bringing in a scope for delays, favoritism and corruption. Resolution:- - Comprehensive online system easing citizen efforts in filing complaints - Auto routing of the grievance to the department and concerned officer - Built in accountability for non-performance and non-satisfactory performance - Online tracking and monitoring 2. Problems related to citizen participation in planning: - There was no structured mechanism for citizens inputs - There was no tracking and monitoring of feedback provided by citizens Resolution:- - Walk with Commissioner: - All inputs and feedback given to the Commissioner are marked as ‘Commissioner Reference’ and a separate tracking mechanism was put in place to track the same for completion. 3. Problems related to payments: - No scope for online / electronic payment in public transport buses - Payments collected through Cash, Cheques or Demand Draft - Reconciliation errors were regular Resolution:- - Electronic payments (debit / credit card / internet banking/ mobile wallets) and at bank branches (anywhere across the country) of selected banks - O&M contract management and introduction to host to host payments to vendors; thereby reducing red-tapism and improving transparency 4. Problems related to ease of doing business: - No integrated online system - Significant manual interventions and touch points - Lengthy procedures with too many documents involved - Delays and discretion Resolution:- - Single Window System - Designated and few human touchpoints - Self-certification for plinth and NOCs - Significant reduction in supporting documents - Online tracking and digitally signed trade licenses

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
i. Impact on Decision making/Policy making – Based on the data and analytics derived from the online feedback/suggestions, citizen participation and its analysis materialized into the following initiatives a. Encroachment activities have significantly reduced due to increased awareness amongst citizens and their confidence on the accessibility to Corporation b. Opened e-toilets and repaired public and community toilets to make Navi Mumbai open defecation free city. c. Several roads, pot holes etc. got repaired due to active participation of citizens d. Shift of O&M works from manual work to SCADA system e. Introduced new bus routes for public convenience f. Built in accountability of the grievances decreased turnaround time for resolution from 30 days to 4.21 days on average ii. Impact in terms of enhanced accountability, transparency and participation a. Built in system accountability has empowered citizens for real time tracking, instant notifications and has made officers responsive as system generates automatic notices to defaulters. This has brought transparency for both citizens and officers. b. Drive towards being a cashless city i. Payments towards availing citizen services and taxes can be made electronically through a payment gateway by using debit card / credit card / mobile wallet / net banking. The citizens can pay through portal, mobile app or at CFCs. ii. Payment for bus tickets can be made through debit / credit card while traveling on the bus iii. Benefits to school students being paid electronically c. Analytics i. Walk with Commissioner Data and grievance redressal system has been linked with analytics to conduct proactive and predictive analytics to help the Corporation address various issues in a proactive manner. iii. Impact on social equality and inclusion a. Exclusive and innovative step of reaching out to Citizens at different areas to ensure everyone’s participation, “Walk with Commissioner” event is being scheduled every Saturday whereat citizens come and directly interact with the Commissioner. b. Feedback and suggestions taken from online grievances, walk with commissioner is unbiasedly taken into account and used for city planning and development. iv. Impact on corruption and mala-fide practices a. Direct Interaction with Citizens in “Walk with Commissioner” and online grievances has instilled trust and confidence in public that the problems are getting heard directly without paying any visit to NMMC offices b. Ease of doing business – provision of online services like building permissions and licenses and faceless approach of NMMC has eventually reduced the manual touch points, removed the discretion of official(s) at every level and brought transparency at all levels of administration, especially to the key decision makers in the system c. Cashless Society – this move has removed the reason to visit NMMC offices and human touchpoints thereby negating any chance of mala-fide practices. Moreover, Citizen Facilitation centers have been equipped with PoS machines for payments and computer system for applying online services thus negated direct interaction with the department. d. Online Tenders – process of procurement of services has been regularized through online tendering only thereby inducing transparent mode of functioning for both officers and citizens.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Grievance Redressal System - Provision for inbuilt accountability i.e. if any officer has not completed the grievance within the defined timeframe, system generates Auto Show Cause notice to the concerned officer. Citizen can also track the activities in his/her profile thereby reducing the reason for citizens to visit corporation. - Citizens can rate and provide feedback to department and resolution officer. This helps the department to evaluate the response of the officers and to take corrective actions. In case the resolution is non-satisfactory, the grievance can be re-opened by the citizen and it automatically hits level one escalation officer. NMMC has introduced mandatory feedback rating from the citizens on all resolved grievances so that the feedback is taken from the citizen for improving service delivery. Additionally, real time reports are available for internal monitoring and for preventive actions. Every Head of the department, Additional Commissioners and Commissioner has an illustrative dashboard with dynamic data. - Resolution given by the NMMC officers are auto populated to the Additional Commissioners and Commissioner for checking the quality of resolution thereby improving the integrity. - Impact of the initiative is adjudged with the help ratings and feedback provided by the citizens and through weekly analysis of data Cashless Services and Ease of Doing Business - NMMC’s drive towards cashless system required the integration of all online services with payment gateway. Changes were incorporated in the system to accept all modes of payments such as credit/debit card, net banking and mobile wallet “mRUPEE” through multiple channels such as NMMC portal, Mobile Application, Citizen Facilitation Centres and PoS terminals at bus depots and in buses. This has reduced the footfall in NMMC offices and has given citizens the ease to pay from anywhere, anytime services. - Provision of online civic services and building permissions has given citizens a 180 degrees experience as the requirement of visiting offices multiple times has been negated. The online application, online tracking, online payment and online certificate has removed the corruption element. Availability of real time reports to the senior officials has made corporation accountable for its action. Walk with Commissioner - Active participation of citizens in planning and development activities of the city has indoctrinated a new approach as in such a large city, Municipal Commissioner is directly interacting with citizens. The suggestions and feedback from the citizens is kept as ‘Commissioner Reference document’ and is taken in budgeting activities.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Navi Mumbai’s population is 1,120,547 of which 610,060 are males and 510, 487 are females (Indian Census data 2011). The initiative has given citizens ability to approach the key decision makers directly and to get services delivered at their doorsteps. This has benefitted all sections of society irrespective of their gender and capability Measures taken in health sector and other sectors after analyzing the data generated from the citizen’s feedback and has really benefitted citizens. For example, - Identification of mosquito breeding points became easy with regular feedback and participation from citizens. Inputs from citizens on water contamination helps the department in checking various nodes of water supply regularly - Increased the number of public and community toilets for women and girls to 228 (2500 seats) which is approximately 50% of the total toilets across Navi Mumbai - Introduced SHE toilets for women with special provisions - Introduced a unique way to share the travelling details through Whatsapp and SMS to near and dear ones about the location and bus information in NMMC e-Connect mobile application through NMMT bus tracker application. This initiative provides safe travel for women and girls who are travelling alone.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Tukaram Mundhe
Title:   Municipal Commissioner  
Telephone/ Fax:   02227567171
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Plot number 1, Sector 15A, Belapur
Postal Code:   400614
City:   Navi Mumbai
State/Province:   Maharashtra

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