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Chandigarh third cleanest city in India: Swachh Bharat survey

The city, which had dropped from the second spot to eleventh last year, is just behind Indore and Bhopal this year.

chandigarh Updated: May 16, 2018 23:08 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh,Swachh Survekshan,Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
Chandigarh is just behind Indore and Bhopal this year in the government’s cleanliness survey.(HT File Photo)

The City Beautiful Chandigarh has been declared the third cleanest city in the country as housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced the results of Swachh Survekshan 2018 on Wednesday.

The city, which had dropped from the second spot to eleventh last year, is just behind Indore and Bhopal this year.

Swachh Survekshan is an extensive sanitation survey to check the progress and impact of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s flagship programme Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched in 2014. It aims to foster a spirit of competition among cities.

MC commissioner Jitender Yadav, who held an aggressive campaign along with councillors and residents to earn this feat, said what makes it even more special is the fact that this year 4,203 urban local bodies were surveyed as compared to 400 last year.

While UT administrator VP Singh Badnore congratulated the entire civic body, mayor Davesh Moudgil said all stakeholders — officials, councillors and residents — worked as a team.

“It is a proud moment for all of us. Let’s make the city even better in future,” said Lok Sabha member from the city Kirron Kher.

The ministry is yet to release details of the survey, including the score given to cities under various heads.

What went in city’s favour

After the city slipped in the rankings last year, the MC had blamed lack of citizen participation. The survey data is collected from three main sources, of which direct feedback from citizens and performance of the Swachhata App — a citizen’s grievances mobile application — are most vital.

Yadav said the citizen’s participation was overwhelming this year.

As many as 37,000 people downloaded the app as compared to a few hundreds last year.

People even used the app to list their grievances and the MC addressed these complaints on time. This process is still working fine, said the MC chief. Also, resident welfare associations participated in several workshops on sanitation, he said.

According to Yadav, some unique initiatives in the city were well received. For example, 25 park development societies in Chandigarh are creating compost out of their green waste while the Infosys and MCM DAV College buildings have been declared zero waste.

The MC chief also gave credit to strong documentation submitted to the central agency regarding the city’s overall civic infrastructure, which helped establishing that Chandigarh has systems and processes in place to implement the Swachh Bharat Mission in an efficient manner.

“Besides this, all ground workers put extra efforts in cleaning public places. This helped the MC score better in the direct observation by an independent agency that visited different parts of the city during the survey earlier this year,” said Yadav.

What more needs to be done

The MC commissioner said delay in implementing segregation of waste at household level and finding a solution to waster processing went against the city, keeping it from reaching the top spot.

“If we achieve these two things, nothing can stop us from the first position,” said Yadav.

Former Union minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said tonnes of waste is lying unprocessed at the Dadumajra plant.

The city generates 450 tonnes of waste a day. In February this year, Union minister Puri had raised concern during the regional review meeting that Chandigarh is lagging in solid waste management with only 30% waste being processed.

Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman of the federation of sector welfare association, said the feat is good but the MC should not get complacent.

“We want the city to be at the top. For this, much improvement is needed in solid waste management,” he said.

First Published: May 16, 2018 23:07 IST