PCMC sanitation drives get trendy on social media, offenders face fines
Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) sanitation drive is causing quite a stir in the area. The health department has taken to social media and opened a Facebook page — PCMC health and sanitation solutions — which has 4,705 members after it was created on March 5, 2019.
The social page was the idea of Anil Roy, who joined PCMC health department as medical officer of health in March this year and felt that residents and corporates had no idea about the activities and initiatives carried out by the department.
The social media page reads, “This group has been created to help us at the PCMC health department understand and solve any health and sanitation related problems in the city. Also it will keep you updated on the activities of the health department. Your inputs would be valuable for us to create a clean clean clean city.”
Many residents have taken to the page and are posting regularly about various issues related to sanitation, including unattended debris.
“I have a team of 40 sanitary inspectors, eight chief sanitary inspectors, and eight assistant health inspectors. They are working on the field with orders to punish anyone who throws garbage, defecates, urinates, spits, throws plastic, buys plastic, litters the roads, as well as the rivers,” Roy said.
“We are even starting another segment that will penalise those who do not segregate garbage. The main intention of starting the FB page and WhatsApp groups at every ward with ward inspector along with residents as its members was to create a common platform for residents to communicate with authorities. As having a one-to-one with every resident across the city covering 180 sq km is not possible, the page and groups will help in relaying messages faster,” he said.
Roy uses the page also to put up offenders’ photographs after they are fined to send out a strong message and generate awareness about the department. “The posts of penalising offenders have received good feedback from residents who also post pictures of unattended garbage in their neighbourhood. The number of complaints has risen. We have also managed to fine those who burn garbage. The employee of a firm in Bhosari was fined Rs 5,000 for burning garbage,” he said.
The PCMC health department also fined Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro) Rs 15,000 for finding stagnant water, a breeding ground for mosquito larvae, at one of their sites. The department has also penalised builders for construction debris.
Resident Ganesh Bora, living in Chinchwad, said, “The PCMC efforts are commendable as our complaints and suggestions are attended to and resolved on fast track. Residents are reporting complaints without fear. The platform is very helpful and needs to implement by other departments.”
Amol Deshpande, who lives in Pradhikaran, says that the page needs to be more more interactive. “The drive is effective only when officer on duty and the sanitation inspector perform, but it would help better if PCMC has a proper social media strategy and a dedicated team to handle social media communications too.”
Action against offenders and fines collected
Total houses inspected (container survey) from January 2019 to 28 / 11/ 2019
Total number of households where larvae was found
Total houses and establishments fined
Total fine collected – Rs 1,01,300