Swachh Bharat Swachh Bengaluru is collaboration between The Forward Foundation and BJP for Better Bengaluru. Their primary aim is to make Bengaluru litter-free. So, only a few days after the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched, this local app was developed by Zoomin Softech Pvt Ltd, and released to the masses of the city. It has not been updated since.
This app was created to be a “GPS based application for capturing the spot details”, the information of which is “directly synchronized with the centralized server”. This application is supposed to show “visualization of any number of such litter spots in Bengaluru City and provide different kinds of reports”. Clearly, the description of the app is cryptic and not very straightforward.
After installing and launching the app, we are directly greeted with the registration page. There is no option to login as a guest or place a quick complaint right away. After filling in the details, and clicking “Register”, the response we received was an error, claiming that my phone number was invalid, and hence the authorisation failed.
We tried registering multiple times with different numbers, but in vain. We tried using +91 before the numbers, which also did not work. The best explanation for this bug could be a) lousy compatibility issues or b) server overload. Since this app has only about 5,000 downloads, the fault cannot be a server overload. And compatibility issues make sense, since this application has not been updated even once, since its inception.
Click here to check out “BBMP Sahaaya” application review, another complaint service application, that did not fare any better. A better, more functional alternative to this app is “Swachhata”, an application by Janaagraha, directly under Ministry of Urban Development. It is a very-well developed app, with a neat overlay and efficient features. With almost 1 million downloads, it works as a community-based complaint service, and also allows for anonymity.
How this application works is rather simple; take a photo of a civic related issue, (like garbage dump, dead animals, sweeping etc.) and the app with geo-tag the picture with the location. Then, the complaint is directly assigned inspector. You shall receive live updates on the status of your complaint, and other fellow users can vote up your complaint. The more vote-ups, the faster your issue gets resolved. You can also re-open your complaint, if you are not satisfied with it’s resolution.
This app also has an extremely responsive forum, and through the ratings and reviews, most of the users protests were regarding how certain complaints were not given enough attention. The PR team confirms that their primary focus lies in garbage related complaints.
In case of the SBSB app, we have another underdeveloped app, released without proper testing. This almost feels like an abandoned application; no updates, no customer response on forums. There have been many failed apps in the past, but this one doesn’t even let the user proceed after authorization.