New Delhi: The city of Muzaffarpur is emerging as an example of a clean city in urban Bihar thanks to a joint initiative by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the Muzaffarpur Municipal Corporation (MMC) and ITC limited. Under the initiative, ‘Swachhata Swasthya Samridhi,’ which was launched in December 2016, Muzzaffarpur has become the first city in the state to have its own bye-laws on solid waste management. The main aim of the programme is to advocate source segregation through community awareness campaigns.
— MuzaffarpurSmartCity (@Muzaffarpur_SCM) January 3, 2019
In two years of the campaign, 70 volunteers have signed up to keep a check on waste collection and educate people on the necessity of waste segregation. Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager CSE, explains,
With the help of volunteers, Mazaffarpur regularly organises mass awareness drives throughout the city, explaining the harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
— MuzaffarpurSmartCity (@Muzaffarpur_SCM) January 11, 2019
The city also organises a weekly group discussions called “Swachhta Pe Charcha” where they invite hotel owners, religious groups, media, local industrialists, and other stakeholders to talk about the need for waste management. Ms. Sambyal said,
They discuss the challenges faced by them in maintaining cleanliness and suggest viable solutions to each other
Muzaffarpur and its processing centres have now become an education site in Bihar with the urban development department pushing to replicate their waste management model in 42 major local bodies of the state including cities like Patna, Gaya and Hazipur. Muzaffarpur currently has three decentralised processing centres as well as a model learning centre, where seminars regarding waste management, composting, and plastic waste management is taught to the interested audience. Ms. Sambyal added,
This audience often includes Urban Local Bodies, volunteers, local NGOs, and other citizens of the city or even other cities who want to learn waste management to keep their city clean
The model integrates rag pickers and waste collectors into the mainstream of waste management. The principles of organic compost is taught, promoted and sold under the trademark “Muzaffarpur Jaivik Khad”. Mr. Sanjay Dubey, Municipal Commissioner, MMC added,
Two years into the programme, Muzaffarpur is now amongst the cleanest cities in Bihar. About 70 volunteers have been working to do door to door propagation to educate residents on segregation of waste into wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste. Muzaffarpur is the first city in Bihar to have its own solid waste management bye-laws and is enforcing the ban on plastic carry bags which was recently announced by the state government,
— MuzaffarpurSmartCity (@Muzaffarpur_SCM) December 27, 2018
These efforts are not going to waste as 41 out of the 49 wards in the city are practising waste segregation at source, as of 15th January 2019 and the rest are expected to follow through by February.
— MuzaffarpurSmartCity (@Muzaffarpur_SCM) January 10, 2019
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.