Swachh rankings: Why did City Beautiful Chandigarh miss the numero uno tag? | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Swachh rankings: Why did City Beautiful Chandigarh miss the numero uno tag?

While scores under various parameters are yet to be declared, HT looks at the reasons why Chandigarh missed the numero uno rank.

chandigarh Updated: May 18, 2018 11:12 IST
Hillary Victor 
Clean tree-lined roads, like this one at Sector 33, seem to have contributed in Chandigarh’s ranking in Swachh Survekshan.
Clean tree-lined roads, like this one at Sector 33, seem to have contributed in Chandigarh’s ranking in Swachh Survekshan. (Keshav Singh/HT)

Though Chandigarh moved up from rank 11 last year to third position this year in the annual Swachh Survekshan, the country’s first planned city failed to bag the number one position, trailing behind Madhya Pradesh’s historical cities Indore and Bhopal.

Marks for assessment were increased from last survey’s 2,000 to 4,000 in 2017. Direct observation had 30% weightage, and citizen feedback and service-level progress had 35% weightage each.Category-wise assessment of progress was done on ending open defecation, collection and transportation of solid waste and processing of solid waste .

While scores under various parameters are yet to be declared, HT looks at the reasons why City Beautiful missing the numero uno rank.

Stink in garbage disposal system

Handicapped by shortage of both manpower and equipment, the municipal corporation (MC) has been struggling to streamline garbage collection system in the city. In 2015, the then UT adviser, Vijay Dev, had issued a slew of directions to MC officials to prepare an action plan in consultation with UT administration. Three years later, the plan remains only on paper.

The poor garbage disposal system may have led to it not making it to the top spot. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

Failure to segregate waste

The civic body on June 5 last year had started distributing colour-coded dustbins — green for disposing of wet waste and blue for dry waste.

Under the waste segregation initiative, 2.3 lakh dustbins were distributed among residents. But a proper infrastructure to segregate the waste is missing. Even as residents are segregating the garbage at their end, the staff collecting it are dumping it in the same cart. Meanwhile, many residents have put the bins to other uses, such as water buckets.Also, MC has been able to open only 35 Sehaj Safai Kendras in the city to streamline waste disposal, against the 132 proposed in 2002.

Shortage of sanitation workers

Even as the garbage disposal system is far from satisfactory, the city is short of around 1,300 sanitation workers. Worse, of the 1,000 regular employees, only 300 report to work, while the others don’t not even come for duty, sources said. Besides, of the 1,200 sweepers working on contract basis, around 250 are deployed in the houses of administrative officers.

Public toilets in a bad shape

Though MC claims to have spent Rs 1.72 crore of the total Rs 3.75 crore budgeted for renovating toilets, the situation remains far from acceptable. A visit to public toilets in various markets and on the main roads revealed that majority of them had leaking or completely dry faucets, poor or no water supply, and overflowing pots, besides the floors were wet and dirty.

MC has given the contract for maintaining these toilets to a Gurgaon firm, but without inviting tenders. The civic body is paying the firm around Rs 20,000 per month per toilet for 121 public toilets.

Even the 418 mobile toilets provided at various colonies and villages in September last year are in a deplorable condition. Doors of most of the toilets are broken, sewage is overflowing and there is no water and streetlight in the area, forcing people to defecate in the open.