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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Swachh Survekshan 2019: Chandigarh slips to 20th spot

This is a big hit for India’s first planned city, which recorded its worst performance in national cleanliness survey that began in 2016.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 06, 2019 22:20 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
From 2nd rank in 2016 to 11th in 2017 and then from 3rd spot in 2018 to 20th now, the huge variation in Chandigarh’s performance in past four surveys exposed city’s resolve to improve waste management despite adverse observations from the National Green Tribunal and other monitoring bodies.
From 2nd rank in 2016 to 11th in 2017 and then from 3rd spot in 2018 to 20th now, the huge variation in Chandigarh’s performance in past four surveys exposed city’s resolve to improve waste management despite adverse observations from the National Green Tribunal and other monitoring bodies.(HT FIle )
         

Latest Swachh Survekshan ranking released on Wednesday stunned Chandigarh as the smart-city-in-the-making slipped from country’s third cleanest city to 20th spot in the last one year.

This is a big hit for India’s first planned city, which recorded its worst performance in national cleanliness survey that began in 2016.

Indore, which is much bigger in size and population than Chandigarh, managed to retain its first rank for the third consecutive year.

A team of local councillors and officers had visited Indore thrice in past one year to study their robust waste management system, but failed to introduce quality changes back home.

Chhattisgarh’s small town Ambikapur was this year’s surprise entry at second rank from 11th last year, achieving this purely by introducing key reforms such as door-to-door waste segregation and effective garbage processing system, something that Chandigarh failed to ensure.

Mysore where local councillors made beeline during study tours replaced Chandigarh at the third spot.

Mohali too paid price for delay in setting up waste processing plant and laxity in waste segregation as its ranking nosedived from 109 in 2018 to 153. Panchkula jumped from 142nd rank to 71th, but is still struggling with proper waste-processing facility.

Low on resolve

From 2nd rank in 2016 to 11th in 2017 and then from 3rd spot in 2018 to 20th now, the huge variation in Chandigarh’s performance in past four surveys exposed city’s resolve to improve waste management despite adverse observations from the National Green Tribunal and other monitoring bodies.

Officers tabled the agenda last year in July to streamline waste segregation by taking control of waste collection from private collectors but a section of councilors, including incumbent mayor Rajesh Kalia, did not let it approve and things did not change thereafter.

Half a million tonnes of waste lying at Chandigarh’s waste disposal facility in Dadumajra is an example of city’s poor waste management.

“We can’t expect good ranking until we make fundamental changes in our overall waste segregation and processing system,” said MC commissioner KK Yadav in his first response to city’s poor ranking. “The efforts were made in the past. But It’s time to reconsider our approach,” said Yadav.

Slamming the MC, Federation of Sectors Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) Baljinder Bittu said MC’s poor planning and tug of war among councillors are solely responsible for city’s poor ranking.

‘Poor assessment of indicators’

The MC’s slogans that ‘Chandigarh Banega Swachhta Main Number 1’ proved to be hollow as city scored poorly in major waste management indicators (see box). For instance, city got just two stars and earned poor 500 (40%) marks out of 1,250 meant for star rating certification due to its failure to start 100% door-to-door garbage collection and segregation and scientific waste processing etc.

On the other hand, Indore got 5 star rating and double the score than Chandigarh purely due to their robust garbage collection and segregation at source, proper sweeping of all areas, bulk waste generators compliance.

In 2018, Chandigarh was highest scorer in the citizen feedback category in the country. It went down this time, indicating that citizens are no convinced with MC’s working.

Central team’s low score to Chandigarh in ground inspection indicated that it was not convinced with MC’s maintenance of public facilities and general cleanliness. Chandigarh got 1,120 marks against Indore’s nearly full marks out of 1,250.

First Published: Mar 06, 2019 22:06 IST

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