Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: How The Mission Is Using Technology To Push Its Swachh Agenda

New Delhi: We live in a world of revolution where many changes are driven by technology and innovations. The government as well understood this fact and embraced technology to help it achieve the target of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by October 2, 2019. Innovations and technology involvement is there in various facets of the mission, from sanitation to cleaning of roads, management of waste, accessing the progress of different states/cities or local bodies under swachh bharat abhiyan, encouraging people about cleanliness and more. Here is the look at technology solutions by the government to meet the target of Swachh India:

When digital India Meets Swachh India

1. Spreading Swachhagrahi Through Swachhta App By Ministry Of Urban Development: Have a problem with your city’s cleanliness and related issues? All these issues can be solved in a tap! To make it easy for the citizens to report a cleanliness related issues, Ministry of Urban Development launched an app – Swachhta App to connect citizens with their respective urban local bodies to solve a host of deficiencies in the respective area. The app is launched on a national basis but is urban local body specific. Meaning – any person living in any part of India can register complains using the app, the app will recognise the location and will ask local or urban bodies to take required actions.

So, what complains are included in the app – The citizens can nitpick about the following – garbage vehicle not arriving, lack of water supply in public toilets, dead animals, public toilet blockage, cleaning of public toilets and uncleaned dustbins.

Also Read: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Government To Set Up Swachhata Kendra At Delhi’s Rajghat

Usage: The app is user friendly, to register a complaint all a user needs to do is click its picture, enter a landmark or a location and submit the complaint.

Talking about the deadlines, complaints have a set timeline for the authorities to act on. A local body has to attend to an issue of garbage vehicle not arriving within 12 hours, dead animals within 48 hours and garbage dumping in 12 hours.

Apart from this national app, many cities and civic authorities have come out with their own app to address the civic issues on priority.

Also Read: Where Technology Meets Social Cause: Hyderabad Installed Machines To Eliminate Manual Scavenging

 2. One Number For All Swachh Bharat Mission Queries – The Swachhta Helpline: Do garbage collection vehicles show up in your locality? Are the waste bins in your locality cleaned regularly? All this and many more Swachh Bharat related complains can now be addressed through just one simple number and that’s the Swachhta Helpline: 1969. This has been introduced across the country and it not only for complaints but also includes any query/questions related to Swachh Bharat Urban.

3. Locate A Toilet Through Apps: Google toilet locator and Find X Toilet are few of the apps that help the user locate the nearby loo. Google toilet locator data is available in New Delhi and Madhya Pradesh whereas Find X Toilet is there just for the citizens of New Delhi.

Google Toilet Locator: The service is available both in Hindi and English and data covers more than four thousand toilets in Delhi NCR including Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad, Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Also Read: New Technologies Have Strengthened Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Ministry of Science And Technology

Google-Toilet-locator-swachh-india

Coming to Find X Toilet, the app provides location and information on 1,000 toilets in Delhi and that’s about 80 percent of the total toilets in the national capital. The mobile app uses GPS to find nearby publicly accessible toilets and once the nearest toilet is located or selected then the app will provide the shortest route to the exact location.

4. Nationwide Real Time Monitoring For Toilet Construction And Usage: A process conducted by the local bodies or NGOs to monitor the progress of toilets construction or usage in an area. The process is real-time and the conductors are asked to record the updates real-time on the swachh dashboard through Mobile Phones, Tablets or iPads and upload the progress report on whether the citizens are constructing toilets or using them and in case of any discrepancy in data on the Ministry’s Website with online Citizen Monitoring, then fix it.

This motoring was launched by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to check real-time the status of toilets made and used under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

The same database also ease the process of Open Defecation Free (ODF) City/State Or a District verification.  Every day in news, we hear that this new city/state/district have gone ODF, but, what we often don’t know is the verification process of the same undertaken by the state government to ensure there is no discrepancy in the data provided by the area local bodies or the panchayats. That whole process of verification is done at different levels by the officers deployed by the state and central government and is online on the same dashboard system. The checks of the open defecation process include the number of toilets constructed in an area, number of households that have gone ODF, the number of community toilets built along with photos and video evidence from the area of the citizens using and building toilets. All these are first submitted to the panchayats on an online dashboard provided by the government and then from panchayats to state and then to the central government.

The online database is maintained so that it becomes an easy supervising task. Imagine such big data being maintained locally on papers – not possible, right?

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