HT Chandigarh Our Take: It’s time for tricity to clean up its act
There was good and bad news this week as Chandigarh improved its ranking in this year’s Swachh Survekshan (cleanliness survey) to 16 from 20 last year. However, the city could not make it to the top 10 cleanest cities in the country for the second year in a row.
Chandigarh last made it to the top slots in 2018 when it was adjudged the third cleanest.
Among the UT’s sister cities, Panchkula too improved its rank to 56, but was nowhere near the top, climbing 15 spots from last year’s rank of 71.
Mohali’s performance left a lot to be desired for as it slipped to rank 157 this year after being slotted at 153 in 2019. Its best has been rank 109 in 2018.
The reason for tricity’s poor show is largely due to its waste management strategies, which are yet not up to scratch despite years of planning.
Chandigarh’s experiment with the waste segregation plant at Dadumajra has so far been a fiasco, with the municipal corporation this year taking over from Jaypee.
Panchkula, too, though streamlining its door-to-door waste collection and imposing penalty for non segregation of waste, has not been able to clean up the garbage dump across the Ghaggar river or clear up the nullah through various sectors of the city.
As far as Mohali is concerned, the municipal corporation’s ambitious solid-waste management project at Samgoli village has remained a non-starter. The city also failed to ensure an open-defecation free status by constructing adequate mobile and public toilets – crucial for attaining smart city status. MC’s plans to spend Rs 97.76 lakh on construction of public toilets in eight markets, too, have not come to fruition.
The blame for not developing clean and green cities rests squarely on the administrative failure and lack of accountability. All that the powers that be seem to be doing currently is passing the buck instead of coming out with a coherent time-bound strategy to improve things.
A turnaround is required now, and the only way in which it can be done is by holding officials accountable for the state of a city or town. The time has passed for blaming everything on a funds crunch and sitting around waiting for another year to pass before the next round of rankings is announced.
The public should settle for nothing less.
Is fixing accountability key to improving rankings?
Fixing accountability is the only way to get cities to perform better in Swachh Survekshan. Do you agree? Send your responses to email@example.com by August 28.