After repeatedly failing at effective waste management, the civic body is hoping to overhaul its services by involving citizens, for which it is putting in place a communications strategy.
A private communications firm will be appointed to do a communications needs assessment with regard to objectives set for waste segregation, collection and disposal and then chart out an Information, Education and Communications strategy.
“The agency will recommend ways to educate citizens, disseminate information and reduce litter,” said Prakash Patil, deputy municipal commissioner, solid waste management.
“We are aiming for greater citizen involvement.”
Officials said the concept has been borrowed from the Bhagidaari scheme launched by the Delhi government to institutionalise citizen participation in several sectors.
The civic body, however, lacks in efforts to provide the basic infrastructure needed to ensure garbage segregation and a litterfree city. Dry waste vans and dry waste sorting centres, imperative for 100% segregation function in less than half of the 24 wards.
It has not yet put up litter bins in all public places.
“There is a communication setup in the form of Advanced Locality Managements, which facilitates meetings between officials and citizens.
But it has been ruined by civic neglect,” said Rajkumar Sharma, coordinator Action for Good Governance and Networking in India.
Activists criticised the BMC’s lack of seriousness.
“This plan is nothing, it’s merely feigning to be an elaborate programme.The BMC does not even set up basic infrastructure to collect segregated waste,” Sharma said.
Defending the move, Patil said “We have not got cooperation from citizens on several campaigns to reduce garbage .There is a need to design a mass participation plan and look at how this communication gap can be bridged.”