Saturday 6 May 2017

What Dehradun residents do to rank 316th in the Swachh Survekshan 2017 Rankings?

Written by Anil Singh

If you're not aware, then let I tell you: The Cleanliness Survey 2017 or Swachh Survekshan 2017 Rankings, are out and Uttarakhand's capital Dehradun is 316th in the list with 434 Indian cities.

If you're not aware, then let I tell you: The Cleanliness Survey 2017 or Swachh Survekshan 2017 Rankings, are out and Uttarakhand's capital Dehradun is 316th in the list with 434 Indian cities.

As many Hindi Newspapers are saying, it's not only sad but shameful as well to find Dehradun that down the rankings.

What Uttarakhand people have or haven't done to find ourselves at the bottom of the Swachh Survekshan 2017 survey or Swachh Bharat survey (which was carried out by Quality Council of India, deploying 421 assessors for on the spot assessment of 17,500 locations in 434 cities and towns).

For our information, according to the Swachch Survekshan 2017 Rankings, Indore is India’s cleanest city. Other top 10 cleanest cities of the country are Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Mysuru, Tiruchirapally, New Delhi Municipal Council, Navi Mumbai, Vadodara and Chandigarh. The dirtiest city is Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.

Notably, we're not among the improvements. We have not significantly improved our ranking from the survey conducted in 2014 before the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission in October 2014.

So why are we so dirty even after three years (Doon-ites)?

Why are we not taking care of the criteria and weightages which were monitored during the Survey. Such as Solid waste management including door-to-door collection, processing, and disposal, ODF or open defecation free status etc. Asking this, as if the survey is believed then majority of us agree that we're not doing so. The survey has given 30 percent weightage to Citizen feedback.

So why have we not improved?

Next time lets fare better, alright?

Is it that easy? Really?

Dehradun residents have not intentionally made their city less clean.

No one wants their place of living to be dirty.

It's only that the Civic cleanliness is the primary responsibility of the Municipal bodies and Governments.

I will call this Survey a clever tactic to blame the people for lack of cleanliness in their cities.

Take for instance the solid waste management. The people can throw the waste in garbage bins (if they are there). They can even pay the municipality to collect the waste from their doorstep, but what about solid waste treatment. If the municipality has to keep the dustbins to lowest minimum, and keep them over flowing, then what is the fault of the people. Another step in waste management is its treatment. If the municipality doesn't have proper mechanism and infrastructure to treat the collected waste, then what is the fault of the people.

Don't know about you, but such surveys come and go. Simply because they are not intended to solve the basic problems.

A city's cleanliness depends on routine cleanliness, waste aggregation, waste disposal and treatment. For that one needs more salaried manpower. the city also needs adequate infrastructure to support that work force. the infrastructure in the form of dustbins, urinals, toilets, waste collection vehicles and waste treatment plants.

In the past three years (ever since the survey is being done), we've not seen much change in this regard.

To conclude, the easiest thing for any Government, is to encourage people to keep their cities clean. But practically speaking, that's just a slogan. Unlike some very enthusiastic groups and NGOs, people cannot leave their livelihoods to clean their cities. In short, if a city's cleanliness is left with its people, then most cities in India will remain dirty. We're a poor country, not everyone can afford 50 Rs. per month for solid waste management.

That's why, I don't see Dehradun as dirty as it's made to be. It's a great city and its people don't want to keep their city less clean.  


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