UP Police launches 'Twitter seva' to redress grievances

UP is the first state in the country to roll out the ambitious "Twitter Seva" project.

Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country on Thursday to roll out the ambitious “Twitter Seva” project, when in one go 122 Twitter handles were unveiled in the state capital.

The “live customer services resolution solution”, senior officials of the micro-blogging site said was by far the biggest engagement by them with any department of any government in India.

The idea behind the service was to “provide the UP police, among other things, strengthening of its primary relationship with the citizens by providing fast, efficient and real time response to complaints and SoS’s raised by the 220 plus million population in the state”, Head of News, Government and Politics Partnerships, Twitter India, Raheel Khursheed told news agencies.

“It is the next level of public engagement wherein we have facilities like time stamping so that the whole process is not only transparent but also accountable” Khursheed pointed out.

Director General of UP police Javeed Ahmad added that in the coming days, this service would be integrated with the “Dial-100” project which is slated to be launched in October.

Elaborating on the services, Rishi Jaitly (VP-Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa), informed that before the UP Police, this service was being used by the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Telecom, Corporate Affairs Ministry and the telecom industry. It is also being used by the Bengaluru police.

“It’s a great feeling to be in UP for the launch of this ambitious service and I am sure down the line, some years later, we all will be talking about its success,” Jaitly said.

While inaugurating the service, the state police chief said police personnel should now be more conscious of their responsibilities as everything would be under real-time watch and that the process was going to be a mammoth exercise owing to the level of engagement with over 20 crore people. The UP police so far had just a Twitter handle which was activated a few months back and has some 46,000 followers.

The state police force, which is the biggest in the world, has been at the receiving end for spiralling crime and poor law and order but the police have received some good reviews for its proactive action on complaints that were posted on its Twitter handle.

Officials explained that from now on, with the launch of the Twitter Seva, citizens can simply tweet their query, complaint to the police account (@uppolice) and the request will be “tackled real time by the concerned district or other officials as per the issue raised.”

The state government wants to showcase the launch as an example of its seriousness about curbing crime, which has become its biggest bane, especially as it goes to seek a mandate again in the state assembly polls scheduled for early 2017.