BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp (BMC) has become the only municipal corporation in the world to have more than 80 citizen-based services on WhatsApp chatbot, offering services for citizens, tourists, and businesses in the city. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday virtually launched this service.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Thackeray says, “As technology is advancing rapidly, we should consider how it can be used for giving more and more services to the public...Mumbai is the number one municipal corporation in the country, which has given more than 80 services to the citizens at their doorstep.”
According to BMC, through the chatbot on WhatsApp number 8999-22-8999, information about more than 80 services and facilities will be easily available to citizens on their mobiles. This service is available 24x7 in Marathi and English. To access the bot, WhatsApp users need to send ‘Hi’ to +91-8999-22-8999 or click on the link https://wa.me/918999228999
Municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal says that BMC is India’s first civic body to launch this kind of service on WhatsApp chatbot for citizens. “With this facility, more than 80 services will be available to citizens on their mobile phones, and their problems will be solved in a few seconds. This is the first such initiative in the country,” he says.
Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra’s minister for tourism, who was present during the launch ceremony, says, “While COVID times push us to work from home (WFH), citizens needed to go to municipal offices for their work. This (the WA chatbot) not just enables WFH during COVID times, it also empowers a citizen to have transparent, accountable, time-bound quality municipal service, easily, at the click of a button.”
“Now that we have the model, we will be taking it to other cities and districts of Maharashtra, promoting ease of living and paperless and good e-governance,” he added.
With the WhatsApp chatbot, citizens from Mumbai can find information about nearby amenities, schools, civic services, BEST services and tourist destinations. The chatbot also allows registration of complaints, application for festival permissions, license renewal and payments.
Shivnath Thukral, public policy director at WhatsApp India, says the BMC’s customised tech solution in MyBMC Assist Helpline is equipped with over 80 citizen services and is India’s first comprehensive city administration chatbot on WhatsApp. “The chatbot is a testament to the effective and scalable, transformational power of technology put to use by the Mumbai city administration. We remain committed to supporting BMC’s effort to build a world-class platform that ensures easy access to citizen redressal and services for all,” he says.
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