Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Year on, how Swachh is Chandigarh?

  • Monica Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 03, 2015 10:24 IST
An overflowing garbage bin at the back side of Government High School at Sector 45, Chandigarh (Photo by Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

It has been an year since the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan was launched with much fanfare in the country and City Beautiful too had joined in to do its bit. But in several city areas, residents say there has been little difference.

The campaign largely lost its sheen with time as both the city residents and officials failed to maintain proper sanitation conditions. A reality check reveals that the residents have hardly taken the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seriously.

The administration and the MC have been claiming of launching several drives to improve sanitation condition in the city, but they could not bring large scale awareness. The residents continue to litter the streets and overflowing bins are a common sight in the city. A survey of the prominent places and sectors reveals that most of the residents do not give two hoots to keep the city clean and in fact contributed by throwing polythene and tetra packs on the roadsides.

Rock Garden

The tourist spots are a tad better than rest of the areas in the city. Rock Garden wears a cleaner look by and large. But as the tourists proceed towards its phase 3, the cleaner image seems to be just eyewash. Despite such impressive credentials, the Hindustan Times team encountered broken dustbins, heaps of garbage, disposable glasses, plates strewn all over and stinking toilets in the garden’s phase 3. Though phases 1 and 2 were cleaner, many dustbins in the garden had no base. Spread over 40 acres in Sector 1, Rock Garden is a popular tourist attraction with a footfall of 5,000 a day and most of them are foreigners.

Sector 17 Plaza, ISBT 17 and 43

Right from the entry to the Sector 17 Plaza from the parking that is just about 50 meters away from the MC building, a pile of garbage welcomes visitors. Even the area around the bridge market is littered with wrappers and leftovers of eatables. The small-sized dustbins at the Plaza were also found to be overflowing with garbage. The situation was no different at Sector 17 interstate bus stand where garbage had gathered even at the ticket counter. Garbage was found inside the counter, which has been closed since a long time, where tickets are booked for travelling to Uttrakhand. Littering by throwing wrappers and packets of chips was rather common at all places be it plaza or bus stand.

Sector 25 Colony, Bapu Dham, Mauli Jagran

The recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed that the sanitation department staff is ‘actually’ focusing on keeping the city clean as it was seen cleaning up the already spick and span roads. But the Sector 25 Colony Road that leads to Panjab University wears a pathetic look. Garbage and muck has gathered on the road, with hardly any cleanliness steps taken to address the situation. The nauseating stench makes it difficult for passerby to cross the area. Situation in some of the other colonies - Bapu Dham and Mauli Jagran-is no different. The dwellers continue to live in inhumane conditions with garbage piled up on roadsides.

Sectors 15, 21, 34, 45

The city sectors also need attention when it comes to cleanliness. A visit to Sectors 15, 21, 22, 34 and 45 revealed that the inner parts and market areas were not cleaned properly. Sector 15, where a large number of students reside, lacks hygiene and cleanliness. Garbage is found piled up in the area around the Sector 15 market, especially behind the rehri market. Unclean public toilets adds to the mess. The Sector 34 market was also found to be littered with leftovers of eatables. In Sector 45, right behind the Government High School, the garbage bin keeps overflowing, but the sanitation staff fails to clean the area regularly. Even some of the vacant plots and green spaces in the sector are used to dump the garbage. The condition is no better in Sector 21. On the road dividing Sector 18 and 21, garbage was piled up next to a dustbin reflecting the apathy of the authorities concerned and inefficiency of safai karamacharis.

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