Now, Gurgaon residents have a say in improving city’s sanitation system

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2015 12:39 IST
Gurgaon did not enter the Centre’s Smart City project as it fared poorly in open defecation and solid waste management. (HT file photo)

The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) is considering involving more residents in its plans to improve the city’s sanitation system, officials have said.

The civic body had recently constituted a 15-member sanitation task force committee comprising urban planning experts, members of citizen pressure groups and shopkeepers associations, apart from MCG officials.

MCG’s plan to rope in residents to improve Gurgaon’s sanitation system comes after several residents complained that they had no representation. They had said the committee had members from MCG and Huda because of which the real problem could not be addressed.

“The planning exercise on sanitation needs to be carried out with wider citizen consultation; otherwise the definition of stakeholders will remain confined to officials and contractors only,” said Parimal Bardhan, a resident.

MCG commissioner Vikas Gupta said, “Ideas of citizens and activists are welcome as it would help us improve our services and plan better. We will try to gain from the experiences of activists so that MCG can do a better job.” He also said the committee will make people aware about the importance of cleanliness.

Read more: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Gurgaon among ‘dirtiest’ cities in the country

The committee met for the first time on Monday, when it decided that its focus would be on developing plans for better disposal of wet, dry, garden, electronic and construction waste. It would also identify gaps in the city’s current waste disposal system and suggest short- and long-term solutions. It will also develop a mechanism to enforce primary segregation of waste at the household level. It also took stock of the existing infrastructure.

The task force will also focus on modes of waste collection from various sources, developing modalities for garbage collection from streets and open areas. It would help MCG identify and develop a centralised sanitary landfill site, which is more viable rather than dumping waste in multiple sites.

“We are working to develop a long-term plan for better sanitation and drainage systems in Gurgaon,” Ruchika Sethi, a member of the task force, said.

MCG has been receiving numerous complaints from residents about sanitation workers and maintenance agencies dumping waste in a haphazard manner — along roads, in green belts and forest areas. Burning waste in the open is also a rampant practice in the city’s residential areas.

This is because Gurgaon lacks a cohesive sanitation and sewerage mechanism and there are numerous gaps in the existing infrastructure. The Bandhwari waste treatment plant has been defunct for close to two years now, garbage collection system is poor and the capacity of drainage pipes is low.

Additionally, there is lack of public toilets.

These were some of the reasons why Gurgaon did not enter the Centre’s Smart City project. It scored low in open defecation (0.63 out of 20 points) and solid waste management (4.7 out of 22 points).

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