Swachh Survekshan 2019: North, South Delhi civic bodies slip in cleanliness ranking, East records big jump
On a day when the north and south Delhi civic bodies registered a significant fall in their rankings in the ‘Swachh Survekshan 2019’ announced Wednesday, the east municipality was the silver lining.
While the north and south corporations together account for roughly 67% of Delhi (1,261 square km. and 118 lakh population in total), 29% falls under the jurisdiction of the EDMC.
The North Municipal Corporation Leader of House, Tilak Raj Kataria did not expand on the fall. “We did well last year, rising from 279 to 206. How is it possible that we came down this time?” he said.
However, an official in the DEMS (Environment Management Services) department at the corporation, requesting anonymity, said, “The condition of Bhalswa landfill, that has mixed waste rotting and is like a mountain of garbage right at the entrance of Delhi, could have brought us down... We have already floated a tender for its remediation.”
Leader of Opposition in the north MCD, Anil Lakra, said, “It only shows how the BJP-run corporation is deep in corruption and there is no focus on work.”
The south Delhi municipal corporation (SDMC) leader of house, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, also said she was not aware of the details. “There are many technical points in the Survekshan report which must be gone through minutely. It will be irresponsible to comment before that,” she said.
Officials at both SDMC and the north corporation blamed it on “too much documentation and technicalities” in the nationwide sanitation survey this year.
SDMC Leader of opposition Praveen Kumar said, “Somewhere we see a multiplicity of staff, somewhere ghost employees, and somewhere a total shortfall. It is madness with no method to it.”
EDMC mayor Bipin Bihari Singh, on the other hand, expressed happiness at the improvements made by his municipality. “We have very little resources but the money that came to us from Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) under ‘Swachh Bharat -- around Rs 100 crore -- in financial year 2018-19 helped us,” he said. “We bought new equipment, turned some dhalaos into dry compactor areas and built new toilets.”
The EDMC Commissioner, Dilraj Kaur, said, “Regular monitoring of safai karmcharis also made a lot of difference.”
Swati Singh Sambyal, programme manager, solid waste management at Centre for Science and Environment, said, “The rankings hold up a mirror for the MCDs. They are not focusing on implementing the Solid Waste Management Byelaws 2016. There is no segregation, the only emphasis is on waste to energy plants.”