MCG to revive Swachh Map app for transparency, engage residents

Updated on Jan 24, 2023 12:33 AM IST

Gurugram:The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is reviving the Swachh Map mobile app, which allows residents to upload photos of garbage dumped on roadside and other places to draw attention of the civic body

Gurugram, India - Oct. 26, 2022: Garbage being dumped in the open at Sector 14 road, in Gurugram, India, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)
Gurugram, India - Oct. 26, 2022: Garbage being dumped in the open at Sector 14 road, in Gurugram, India, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Hindustan Times)

Gurugram:The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is reviving the Swachh Map mobile app, which allows residents to upload photos of garbage dumped on roadside and other places to draw attention of the civic body.

The team handling the app will undergo a 15-day training to handle queries and responses by residents. Officials said that not addressing the complaints registered on the app will attract action against sanitation officers. The officials will have to act on complaints within 24 hours and upload pictures from the spot, they said.

MCG launched the Swachh Map app in October 2016. In 2018, HT reported that several places in Gurugram that were marked as clean by the MCG’s Swachh Map app were found to be littered with garbage after a spot checks.

Officials said that for the last one year, the app was hardly used by residents.

MCG commissioner PC Meena said that the initiative was taken after sanitation was found to be poor in many areas after spot checks. “We want residents to give regular feedback and take charge of their areas and help us to keep the city clean. With the help of the app, residents can see the locations of garbage-lifting vehicles, register their complaints and give suggestions to improve the services,” he said.

Meena said the app will also help them keep track of collection of waste from different areas by the concessionaire. “The app will not only help us in keeping the city clean, but also help us keep track of the areas that require attention and timely intervention. The sanitation officers’ roles and responsibilities will increase and so will their efficiency,” he said.

The Swachh App was supposed to make the MCG more accountable and help residents report problems such as garbage pile-ups, potholes, unclean toilets, open defecation and sewage leakage. Residents alleged that MCG officials were uploading false pictures after which they lost interest in using the app.

MCG joint commissioner Naresh Kumar said that he has directed the officials to check all secondary waste points. “We will also start scanning CCTV footage of the areas to identify residents who dump waste in the open and strict action will be taken against them. There are regular complaints from at least 20 areas and we are mapping these locations,” he said.

Ruchika Sethi Takkar, founder member of ‘Why Waste Your Waste’, a civil society movement for zero-waste, said that the relaunching of the app will see more engagement from residents on the city’s waste management practices.

Parimal Bardhan, A social sector expert and a resident of DLF Phase 1 said, “Any such interactive tool is useful only if it is backed by an honest and accountable team that works towards the resolution of the problem. Secondly, the effectiveness of such a feedback tool presupposes that a proper system of waste management as per Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 is in place,” he said.

Officials said that since 2020, the app has not received much response due to lack of awareness programmes by the civic agency and poor show by the teams handling the app. “The residents had lost interest but with a new technical team, the app is expected to receive a good response now”, said MCG joint commissioner Kumar.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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