Cleanest city twice, but Mysuru faces a tough battle next year

By TheHindu on 19 Mar 2017

After being crowned the cleanest city in India two straight times, Mysuru is likely to find the going tougher in 2017.

Swachh Survekshan-2017 will see the participation of 500 cities and towns with a population of one lakh and above. The last two surveys considered only 73 cities with a population of 10 lakh and above.

But the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) plans to pull out all the stops to make it a hat-trick and is bracing up for the first round of Swachh Survekshan, which will commence on January 4. MCC Health Officer D.G. Nagaraj told The Hindu that the Quality Council of India (QCI) will be the nodal agency and the weightage will be for direct observation and service benchmarks, besides information and behavioural change communication.

The contest is wide open this year as cities and towns with a population of one lakh and above are in the race. It would be easier for small cities to provide top civic amenities and services compared to bigger cities, where the available resources gets stretched, said Mr. Nagaraj.

“But the MCC is going all out to retain the cleanest city crown. Its staff members are on the field daily from the crack of dawn to ensure that solid waste is being collected and disposed of properly,” he said.

What will help Mysuru is the ongoing activities of solid waste management, including segregation at source, proper disposal and creating permanent infrastructure to treat waste, said Mr. Nagaraj. He said many other cities have an ad-hoc approach to the Swachh Bharat Mission and become active only in the run-up to the survey.

The city generates 402 tonnes of garbage, of which 200 tonnes is converted into compost and 80 tonnes treated by the 10 zero-waste management centres in place. Two more solid waste treatment plants, each with a capacity of 200 tonnes, are coming up in the city.

Gearing up for big test

Swachh Survekshan-2017 will commence on January 4 and will involve spot assessment of all 65 wards in the city.

MCC has also taken note of lacunae that emerged during last year’s survey and has now completed building 39 public toilets and 11 community toilets.

Mysuru — which has been declared as an open-defecation free city — is on the road to constructing 425 household toilets to ensure that every household has a toilet, said MCC Health Officer D.G. Nagaraj.

Getting citizens involved

Swachh Sarvekshan will entail spot inspections, data collection from municipal bodies, and eliciting feedback from citizens.

The city corporation is already urging citizens to participate in the survey and has asked them to download the Swachh Survekshan app to give their feedback.

The nodal agency of the survey — Quality Council of India — will send its personnel for direct observation to public places, planned residential areas, slums, and bulk waste generators such as hotels and markets. They will visit bus stand, railway stations, religious places and tourist spots. Points will be given for solid waste management and resolution of complaints from the public.

MCC is also roping in citizens group and non-governmental organisations to create awareness against defacing of public places and littering.