The impact of the much-talked-about Hello Sarkar public complaints hotline is being seen in one instance after another. Some 41 bus passengers in Itahari were able to recover Rs 6,150 fleeced from them by the bus owners on Saturday thanks to timely intervention by the Hello Sarkar team.
The saga of how the disgruntled passengers were able to recover their money is interesting. According to officials deputed at the Hello Sarkar control room, one Tirtha Adhikary phoned up around 7:30 P.M. on Friday.
“A passenger bus– Na 3 Kha 7140– had forcibly collected an additional Rs 140 from each of the 41 passengers. The bus owners and conductor did us an injustice. We need your instant action and support,” Narendra Gywali, an officer at the control room, quoted Adhikary as telling Hello Sarkar over the phone.
The officials then discussed whom to contact to sort out the problem. The control room officials then contacted a police control room and asked them to address the problem through local police without dealy.
The bus was en route to Kathmandu from Birtamod, Jhapa. Local police went into action following instructions from the central level and stopped the bus at Itahari. During an inspection, it was found that the bus owners had indeed collected additional money from the 41 passengers.
Police had the Rs 6,150 refunded to the passengers. Immediately after that incident, there was another phone call at the Hello Sarkar control room, this one stating that another bus en route to Kathmand from Jhapa was also collecting extra money from passengers.
Officials again instructed police to punish the bus people. Police tried to identify the bus but it never came via that route. “The bus disappeared suddenly,” said an official.
Some farmers in Birjung lodged a complaint at the control room saying that they are facing a chemical fertilizer crunch due to the apathy of the Ministry of Agriculture. Officials immediately delved into why farmers were facing the fertilizer crunch and found that the Agriculture Ministry had been indifferent toward the release of fertilizer from Bhairawa customs.
Secretary Leela Mani Paudel at the Office of Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) immediately briefed Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai about the problem.
On Saturday evening, Hello Sarkar received a complaint about another serious problem, this one facing Tribuhwan University students. A complaint lodged at the control room stated that students couldn´t get exam admission cards even just one day before the start of exams.
“We have already contacted TU Rector Surya Lal Amatya to solve the problem at the earliest” Hello Sarkar official Gyawali added.
The Hello Sarkar control room has been in operation following its inauguration by the prime minister on Thursday. The control room has been taking non-stop phone calls and there is a flood of complaints by email, fax and SMS also.
The phone, email and SMS number for Hello Sarkar is the same –1111. The public can phone 1111, SMS at 1111 and email at [email protected] if they have any complaint to lodge at the control room. They can also fax at 1100. Except for the fax, the public won´t have to pay anything for contacting the control room.