Following an abysmal performance of Dehradun in the recent Swachh Survekshan, state urban development secretary Radhika Jha has asked the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) officials to visit and study the cleanliness model of Varanasi city in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
Varanasi, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, has been ranked the 32nd cleanest city in India among the 434 participating cities in the survey this year. It has improved drastically from last year’s performance where it had been ranked among the 10 dirtiest cities in the country and thus will now serve as an “inspiration” for Dehradun, which currently stands at a dismal 316th position.
“Varanasi has improved tremendously in its ranking since the last survey. If it being an old city can do so much, we are sure that we (Doon) can do much, much better. I have asked the DMC officials to visit Varanasi and focus on how we can better the city on various parameters of the cleanliness survey,” Jha told Hindustan Times on Sunday.
Dehradun municipal commissioner Ravneet Cheema said that based on the directions, a team of DMC officials and sanitation inspectors will soon visit Varanasi to carry out a field visit.
“Our priority would be to look for practical solutions to some of the key challenges (in terms of maintaining cleanliness) that we face here in Dehradun every day while disposing of waste,” Cheema told HT.
Dehradun generates over 350 metric tonnes of solid waste every day.
“These (challenges) include transportation of garbage through dumpsters amid heavy traffic, use of PPP (public private partnership) mode and technology, micro-management of door-to-door waste collection and night lifting of garbage,” she added.
According to Varanasi’s chief health officer Dr A K Dubey, the Varanasi Municipal Corporation carried out over 150 cleanliness and awareness drives with volunteers, roped in three non-government organizations to manage cleanliness in wards and ghats (river banks), closely monitored its waste collection and ensured large scale deployment of sanitation workers and garbage collection vehicles which led to its highly improved rankings.
HT was the first to report in its May 8 edition how the state government was planning to study the sanitation models of other cities in states with similar features. “We will find out what other cities are doing the best and where we are lagging behind,” urban development minister Madan Kaushik had told HT.
Under the nationwide survey held under the aegis of the Union ministry of urban development (MoUD), none of the participating cities of Uttarakhand (see box) made it to top 200 in the countrywide list.