The CM Window in Haryana: A Landmark Initiative for Grievance Redressal

AuthorRajvir Dhaka,Bhupeshwar Dayal
DOI10.1177/00195561211056412
Date01 December 2021
Publication Date01 December 2021
SubjectArticles
The CM Window in
Haryana: A Landmark
Initiative for Grievance
Redressal
Bhupeshwar Dayal1 and Rajvir Dhaka2
Abstract
Grievance redressal is often a general administrative exercise which is adopted
by various state governments and agencies with varying degrees of commitment
and efficacy. An ideal redressal mechanism aims at safeguarding degrees against
official apathy, corruption and systemic aberrations. It also implicitly acts as a
deterrent to erring agencies and functionaries as well as sets a benchmark for
a higher executive’s oversight to peoples’ complaints. A revisit to the course
and manner of this hitherto routine exercise reveals that the functional and
effectual system for addressing people’s grievances has to include a mechanism
which is specific as well as achievable and includes a procedure for measurable
performance. The CM Window initiative of the Government of Haryana has set
its sight at unrestricted grievance redressal across departments and geographi-
cal spreads of the state through a process of decentralised complaint recording,
prompt solutions and centralised monitoring at the highest level. This article
offers a closer insight into the focus, working, effectiveness and limitations of the
ambitious exercise to ameliorate citizens’ hardships.
Keywords
Governance, grievance redressal, service delivery, citizens’ entitlements
Introduction
Being the tangible expression of the legitimate authority within an organised
society, the government has traversed through a long transformational journey
Article
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
67(4) 587–607, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/00195561211056412
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1 Chief Minister Office, Chandigarh, Haryana, India.
2 Haryana Institute of Public Administration, Gurugram, India.
Corresponding author:
Rajvir Dhaka, Faculty Member, Haryana Institute of Public Administration, 76 HIPA, Complex,
Sector 18, Gurugram 122001, Haryana, India.
E-mail: rajvird@hipa.in
588 Indian Journal of Public Administration 67(4)
since its very inception. Its various forms and features have been the logical
responses to the dynamic expectations of the people as well as to the challenges
faced by it in a volatile environment. The government, as a matter of fact, does
share the citizens’ concern for a responsive, accountable, transparent, decentral-
ised and people-friendly government at the local, state and the national levels. The
state government has gone to expand its role dimensions with focus on country’s
development and management of its economy in an efficient and targeted manner.
The Grievance Redressal Mechanism (GRM), as a matter of fact, is an indis-
pensable component of administration that aims at ensuring efficient, respon-
sive and transparent governance. It has, as a matter of fact, become a prime
attribute of ‘good governance’. It could be a formal or informal process of com-
plaint redressal that can be used by those individuals, communities and civil
society organisations that are being impinged by governmental operations and
activities. For the sake of citizen focus and legitimacy of purpose, an admin-
istration needs to be accountable, responsive and user-friendly by establishing
an efficient and effective GRM. In other words, this is a measure to evaluate
its competence to the extent it provides an important channel for getting feed-
back from people on its working. Effective redressal of public grievances has,
therefore, become a touchstone for mapping the degree of responsiveness in
a governance system. GRM has thus emerged as a mechanism for receipt and
processing of citizens’ complaints for the removal of grievances and provision-
ing efficient service delivery. Consequently, efficacy of the GRM has become
a barometer to gauge the sensitivity and effectiveness of administration. Its
weakness indicates an unhealthy scenario. If the grievances remain unresolved
despite their serious nature, these are liable to become unmanageable and
could lead to legitimacy of the mechanism being put to question. Hence, an
effective redressal of grievances is an essential attribute of a citizen-friendly
administration.
Grievance Redressal: A Public Administration Challenge
A tendency towards systemic tolerance for administrative apathy, delay, poor
work quality and lack of accountability lead to grievances among the public. It
would be improbable to presume that grievances can altogether be avoided; the
most practicable measure can be to mitigate their impact by restricting these to a
realistic and manageable number. Governments and their managers are aware of
existence and recurrence of grievances in various service delivery processes and
policy implementation procedures. A responsible and responsive administration
considers these as part of governance and includes a meaningful GRM that can
identify grievance-prone areas and is vigilant towards procedures that are suscep-
tible to corruption.
Any system of public grievance redressal can be sustained only if it delivers
redress and becomes instrumental in making the organisation citizen-centric and
capable of instituting responsive governance. The organisation finds it productive
as it can save it from public resentment and improve its public image as well as

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