Gurgaon: Stuck projects may undo MCG’s work for Swachh survey
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Gurgaon: Stuck projects may undo MCG’s work for Swachh survey

Failure to set up units for processing municipal solid waste and C&D waste may nullify advancements made with door-to-door garbage collection service and RWA-led composting efforts

gurgaon Updated: Jan 28, 2018 23:20 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Municipal Corporation of Gurugram,Gurgaon news,Gurugram news
A team from the Union ministry of urban development will be in the city between February 1 and 3. (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

As the district agencies and municipal corporation work tirelessly to up Gurgaon’s ranking in the all-India cleanliness survey, Swachh Survekshan, there are let-downs that may keep the city from joining the likes of Indore, which was adjudged the cleanest city in all of India last year.

On its part, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has undertaken several steps to make the city cleaner over the last year.

The municipal body introduced the door-to-door waste collection system, it boasts that Gurgaon is open defecation-free and many RWAs and housing societies set-up their own waste processing units in the past year.

“The MCG focused on making the city open defecation-free, waste segregation, constructing public toilets and initiate door-to-door collection of waste. We are hopeful that these initiates will reflect on the Swachh Bharat survey,” MCG joint commissioner Anu Sheokand said.

But issues such as defunct waste processing plant at Bandhwari and absence of a construction and demolition (C&D) waste plant may affect this year’s rankings.

This year, Gurgaon was hoping to improve its ranking in the Swachh Survekshan or clean India survey, in which 4,041 cities are participating. A team from the Union ministry of urban development will be in the city between February 1 and 3.

It will evaluate the city’s cleanliness on parameters including, collection, segregation and transportation of municipal solid waste; cleanliness of public areas; solid waste management; public access to toilets; awareness campaigns on cleanliness and citizens’ engagement in waste management; staff education and exposure; and best practices.

The Bandhwari waste processing plant has been lying defunct since a fire in 2013. The plant has been relegated to a collection point and 1000 tonnes of waste from Gurgaon and Faridabad is dumped here. This waste remains untreated.

A Central Pollution Control Board report stated that nearby water bodies have been contaminated because of this waste.

In November last year, state government announced that the plant would be revived to process over 25 lakh tones of solid waste in the next five years. A waste-to-energy (WTE) plant has been conceptualized which would produce 10 MW electricity daily. But, it wouldn’t start until June 2019.

While there’s a deadline for the Bandhwari WTE plant, that’s not the case for the C&D plant proposed at Basai.

After reports surfaced that the 3.5-acre site is on a wetland and that the C&D plant threatened the habitat over 280 species of birds, including exotic migratory birds, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stopped construction of the plant in June 2017. On January 10, the NGT vacated the stay on construction but its final judgment is awaited. The plant was expected to commence operations last year. MCG officials said, the city generates 700 tonness of C&D waste and it increases at an annual rate of 10%. The silver lining is that Gurgaon may get brownie points for reviving these projects.

Meanwhile, Gurgaon also boats of being open defecation-free, but issues related to public toilets, their condition, functionality, and even existence, continue to raise a stink.

Last week, the civic body claimed that after getting complaints from residents and councillors about public toilets that are either locked or non-operational, it had made 125 toilets functional.

Last year, only 9% residents felt there is basic infrastructure available at public and community toilets. Given how public feedback accounts for 35% of the total points in the 2018 survey, public toilets could become a nightmare for the MCG.

The district administration’s been working towards addressing that, too, but it’s yet to find success.

It’s conducted workshops, taught sanitation staff to reach out to people for feedback and addressed complaints received on the Swachh Map app.

In a release on December 18, 2017, the district administration had said that more than 2,350 people downloaded the Swachh Map app and 987 complaints received on the app were resolved. But residents have often complained about poor or improper redressal.

This year, Gurgaon was hoping to improve its ranking in the Swachh Survekshan or clean India survey, in which 4,041 cities are participating. A team from the Union ministry of urban development (MoUD) will be in the city between February 1 and 3 for the survey.

It will evaluate the city’s cleanliness on several parameters including, collection, segregation and transportation of municipal solid waste; cleanliness of public areas; solid waste management; public access to toilets/open defecation-free; awareness campaigns on cleanliness and citizens’ engagement in waste management; staff education and exposure; and best practices.

In 2017, Gurgaon ranked 112th out of 434 cities in the survey. In 2016, the city ranked 36th out of 73 cities, and in 2015, it finished 466 out of 476 cities. This year, a total of 4,041 cities are participating in the survey in which service-level progress category, and direct observation together carry 70% weightage out of a possible total of 4,000 points.

“MCG has undertaken several cleanliness measures over the past year. We are looking forward to carrying out more such initiatives beyond the Swachh Bharat survey as well,” MCG public relation officer SS Rohilla said.

BOX: What earns Gurgaon points

Service-Level Progress: 1400 points

Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will submit details and data on its sanitation manpower, machinery, infrastructure and progress made in municipal projects

Direct Observation: 1200 points

Officials will visit various sites, such as waste processing plants, public toilets, and drainage canals across the city. It will also conduct on-spot surveys, independent of MCG’s knowledge

Public Feedback: 1400 points

Residents can either give their feedback on the city’s cleanliness through the Swachh Bharat app, the Swachh Bharat website or at random list their response in a telephonic survey conducted by survey officials.

Clean at a click

The Swachh Map app was launched on October 3, 2016

The app allows residents to upload pictures of piles of waste for getting them cleared by the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram

Once the picture is uploaded, the app reads the latitude and longitude of the waste pile. This information is shared with the officials of the sanitation department, which then sends staff to clear the site within 48 hours

In December last year, the district administration said more than 2,350 people had downloaded the app and 987 complaints received on the app were resolved

Since its launch, the app has faced several software issues and many residents have complained about poor or improper redressal.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 23:20 IST