The introduction of the chatbot on its app is part of the global efforts undertaken by BMC to improve communication with the people of Mumbai.
Mumbai To facilitate communication with citizens and streamline the handling of complaints, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Disaster Management Department is planning to introduce a chatbot feature for use through mobile phones.
The functionality will be part of the disaster management mobile application. Currently, the disaster management service receives complaints on Twitter and mainly through calls to its 1916 helpline. The introduction of the chatbot is part of the overall efforts undertaken by the civic body to improve communication with residents of Mumbai. The chatbot will filter out complaints and report the most important ones as a priority.
Suresh Kakani, the additional municipal commissioner in charge of the disaster management department, said: “Qualified staff in the department will discuss with users who send messages. We will set up an automatic system so that the agency concerned immediately receives an alert. For example, if someone reports a fire via the chat, the fire brigade control room will be alerted.
The feature is under development and is expected to take a month to complete and present to the public. To use it, citizens will need to download the disaster management mobile app. BMC IT is developing this functionality. Although all of its attributes are not yet finalized, the chatbot will be linked to all the primary and important services offered by the BMC, such as roads, hydraulics, garbage collection, storm sewers.
Kakani said, “In the beginning, it won’t be fair to filter out which requests will be processed in person and which will be processed automatically. Once we understand the nature of the complaints, a filter can be put in place.
However, it will have a built-in Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for popular inquiries or citizen complaints regarding the civic services mentioned above. For such complaints, the ‘bot’ will respond to citizens and offer a menu at each stage of the interaction.