The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which looks after the Capital’s high-profile neighbourhoods housing the power elite, embassies, top markets and fancy restaurants, has stood seventh in the Swachh rankings for 2016-17. This is three positions down from the fourth spot it secured last year.
The Capital’s posh Lutyens’ Zone is maintained by the council -- arguably India’s richest civic agency.
It has, however, been judged the cleanest city in the north zone. The NDMC scored 1707.96 of the total 2000 in the survey conducted by the urban development ministry.
But sanitation experts said the slip in rankings doesn’t mean the council has lagged behind in terms of work.
“If you want to look at ranks, then I would not worry about NDMC getting a lower rank as an indicator of poor work. It is not really. As the officers should know, it’s like the UPSC exam. You get 90 but someone else gets 90.2 and they get into the IAS but you don’t. That doesn’t mar your life,” Bharati Chaturvedi, director of NGO Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, told HT.
Chaturvedi said top cities such as Indore and Bhopal improved a lot to overtake NDMC. “Cities like Indore and Bhopal have been working very hard and have improved their solid waste management mechanism immensely. It is not what NDMC has not done, it is what the others did. The council is composting its green waste, has enough public toilets, has deployed mechanical sweepers and manual ones and is even taking care of its sanitation workers. Only thing which it should do is include the informal sector in the mechanism,” Chaturvedi said.
The council has already started charging a user fee, similar to a “bin tax” in the UK, as part of the municipal solid waste management rules. The NDMC area, a leafy VIP zone in the city’s heart, is home to a mere 1.5% of the Capital’s 16.78 million people and covers just 3% of the city. It generates more than 300 tonnes of garbage a day.
A senior official said the council is now stepping up efforts to top the list in the Swachh Survekshan 2018. “In the council area, 100% segregation at source of waste will begin from June 5, 2017. Five colonies are being made ‘zero waste’. The NDMC has already constructed 330 public toilets and another 63 are under construction, which will be completed by September 2017,” the official said.
The official said the NDMC maintained its quality services being extended to residents of New Delhi area.
“We had got fourth position in 2016 among the 73 participating cities but this time, in 2017, the ranking is seventh out of 434. The Ministry of Urban Development has observed that the decrease in ranking of previous cities does not mean that they had compromised in extending the quality civic services to its citizens and not maintained and upkeep the cleanliness in their respective cities at par with previous year. The result of Swachh Survekshan indicates the seriousness of intent and action among urban local bodies to bring their citizens the best of service delivery system,” he said.