Now, an app for cleaner Bhopal

  • Purvi Jain, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jan 28, 2016 16:15 IST
Heaps of garbage at the side of the Hoshangabad Road in Bhopal on Wednesday. The BMC is all set to launch an app which will let the public click photos of garbage and send it to the civic body. (Mujeeb Faruqui/ HT photo)

The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) will launch a mobile phone application called ‘Swachh Map’ that will allow residents to upload photographs of garbage and the civic body will clean it up, an official said on Wednesday

The Android-based app will be available free on Google Play Store and will be launched in the first week of February, said Tejaswi S Naik, BMC commissioner.

“The BMC is also forming a quick response team that will address grievances sent through the app, he told Hindustan Times.

“Through the ‘Swachh Map’ we want to address the complaints of residents, who feel that the municipal corporation workers are not cleaning their neighbourhods properly.”

“The BMC has tied up with Intel to launch the app,” he said.

City residents, however, were divided about the success of the app.

“I think it is a good initiative. A few months ago, a similar app helped Delhi resident to speak about cleanliness of the neighbourhoods. This app might do something similar for Bhopal,” said Ayushi Sharma, a law student.

Arpita Joshi, an engineer, said: “One cannot really tell how effective the app would be as it is a response-based system.”

“However, it can be good for residents who can report about cleanliness of their neighbourhoods with much ease, unlike the conventional way of approaching a corporator for every civic issue.”

In November 2015, the Delhi Municipal Corporation had launched a similar app —“Swachh Delhi”— which became a big hit among users with more than 2,200 photos uploaded by Delhi residents on the day it was launched.

Naik said in 2014, the BMC had planned to launch an app called “CityApp”, that intended to simplify the residents’ interactions with the civic body, however, the project was scrapped due to the huge cost involved.

BMC to build 40,000 toilets in slums under Swachh Bharat Mission

The BMC has planned to launch 40,000 individual toilets in slum areas and poverty pockets of the city where open defecation is still prevalent.

The corporation had floated a tender for the construction of 10,000 toilets earlier this year when the sanitation budget was decided. These toilets will partly be sponsored by the BMC and the remainder of the amount will have to be paid by the beneficiary himself.

These toilets are a part of Swachh Bharat Mission which aims to achieve a 100% open defecation-free India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Talking to HT, BMC commissioner Tejavi S Naik said, “These toilets are built on the basis of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) Application. We had invited applications from the general public asking if they want an inside-house toilet. By the end of January, 1,000 toilets would be built.”

The commissioner also said that the corporation had planned to build 40,000 individual toilets to solve the problem of malfunctioning or badly maintained community toilets, which are a significant roadblock in ending open defecation — a goal which the BMC wants to achieve by the end of 2016.

According to statistics, Bhopal has a limited number of community toilets, which are in very bad shape.

According to a report released a few years ago by Water Aid and a Bhopal-based NGO, Aarambh, there are only 71 community toilets in 380 slums which have 128,170 households.

Out of the 71, 28 toilets are not operational. “People still practice open defecation as the community toilets are very poorly maintained. Drains are blocked and at times, there is no water available in the taps,” said Anup Sahay, secretary general, Aarambh.

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