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    PWD helpline receives poor response from public

    THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Many people have complaints about PWD roads. But not many have used this number, 1800-425-7771. The toll-free number of the state PWD is getting only a few calls these days. The helpline service introduced in November 2009 for the public to register their complaints about roads, bridges and other infrastructure under the PWD, used to get more than 500 calls per day. It now receives not even five calls a day, sources said.Though the PWD officials are willing to admit that the response was poor, they refuse to divulge the details. According to KSTP chief engineer Pennamma, the helpline system is getting poor response because the condition of roads has improved.“There may not be anything to complaint. It must be seen like that, isn’t it?’’ she asked.About six employees man the helpline service which functions from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. The name, address and contact number of the complainant will be registered. All details regarding the complaint will be passed on to Assistant Executive Engineers of respective sub-divisions who are responsible to initiate action and also to contact the complainant within 48 hours.The helpline system was active till last year. Poor response to complaints and lack of publicity are cited as reasons for the poor public response. After the UDF Government came to power, advertisement of PWD helpline appeared only once.Expansion of PWD helpline was part of the department’s 100-day programme announced in June last year. However, it was limited to a single advertisement, which appeared in September last year.