Swachh Survekshan 2018: Why did Chandigarh fail to become number 1?

Written by PaperDabba
Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: May 18, 2018 9:45:51 am

In June 2017, the Chandigarh MC launched the waste-segregation initiative by distributing dustbins to city residents. (File photo)

EVEN AS Chandigarh clinched the third cleanest position in Swachh Survekshan 2018, residents feel that City Beautiful did not justify its tag and lacked in taking the number 1 spot.

Indore, which was declared the cleanest city in the country, has risen from rank 25 in 2016 to number 1 in 2017 and 2018 as well. However, Chandigarh’s improvement graph has been more of a roller-coaster ride. It ranked number 2 in 2016, then slipped to number 11 in 2017 and has now managed to climb to rank 3.

Comparing it with Indore, Additional Commissioner Saurabh Mishra said Chandigarh was lacking in two major issues – segregation of waste and the working of garbage processing plant.

“For segregation, you need the involvement of door-to-door waste collectors and the households and both are not under corporation’s control. In Indore, the garbage collection vehicles of Indore MC go door to door to collect garbage and that way they enforce segregation also. But, here in Chandigarh, the door-to-door waste collectors are not under MC. So, therein lies the problem of enforcing segregation,” said Mishra.

In June 2017, the Chandigarh MC launched the waste-segregation initiative by distributing dustbins to city residents. Green and blue dustbins were distributed in every household and even supplied to the door-to-door waste collectors. Despite spending Rs 2.5 crore, the efforts went futile. For, neither the MC held regular awareness drives nor it enforced segregation on the door-to-door waste collectors.

The Additional Commissioner further stated that the garbage-processing plant at Dadumajra is not working properly because of which the garbage is dumped at the landfill site which is overflowing each day.

Indore Municipal Corporation governs a population of 27 lakh people and has 85 wards. Chandigarh has a population of 10 lakh according to the 2011 Census and 26 wards.

Chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association, Baljinder Singh Bittu, said, “Residents are disappointed. Why are we not on number 1? Chandigarh is known as one of the most liveable and clean cities of India globally. Then why are we number 3?”

Bittu added, “Segregation of waste should have been started from two or three wards first on pilot basis and then replicated in other wards. In some sectors, people had bins but they were not with garbage collectors, so there was no coordination and thus it did not become a success. Moreover, the civic body never conducted any awareness sessions which inspire people to segregate waste.”

While some residents are still not satisfied with the rank as they hoped the city to clinch the number 1 spot, credit war over the results has begun.

Mayor Davesh Moudgil along with MP Kirron Kher and senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain held a press conference and said that efforts of city residents and MC officials had borne fruit. As the mayor had claimed that since he took over, he has been at it to improve the city’s Swachh rankings, Congress councillors stated that the mayor has been taking unnecessary credit even when the evaluation was not done during his term.

Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla said, “What is the contribution of Davesh Ji on Chandigarh being declared 3rd in India. All work on the basis of which Chandigarh got this rank was done during the tenure of previous Mayor Asha Jaswal. I ask the mayor as to why he never accompanied the councillors’ team to NGT Delhi to pursue the case regarding garbage processing plant. We went to Delhi five times early in the morning, but he never accompanied us to improve the condition of garbage processing plant. The mayor is doing politics.”

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