- Guwahati’s civic body awarded schools, hospitals and hotels for cleanliness
- The GMC received 4,000 waste related complaints on the Swachhata app
- 58 NGOs have been engaged by the GMC to clean the city’s garbage
New Delhi: The students of Don Bosco School, Pan Bazar in Guwahati were ecstatic on January 16. Their school was adjudged the cleanest school in Guwahati city and the students’ were recognised for their efforts to keep their school clean by regularly cleaning the surroundings and segregating the waste for composting. The award was one of the highlights of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation’s (GMC) efforts to promote the city’s participation in Swachh Survekshan 2018. The annual ranking ritual, which began on January 4, 2018 is the largest Survekshan yet, with 4,041 cities participating this year. Guwahati, which was ranked 134 out of 434 cities last year, is leaving no stone unturned to not only better its ranking, but also create awareness among citizens about the Survekshan, as citizen feedback is an important component of the survey.
Apart from Don Bosco Guwahati, Assam Jatiya Bidyalay and Maharishi Vidya Mandir were also adjuged as second and third cleanest schools in the city. Not restricting itself to schools, the GMC also awarded the hotels – Taj Vivanta, Palacio and Radisson Blu for being the cleanest hotels in the city. The GMC also bestowed the hospitals – Narayana Super-speciality Hospital and Ayursundra Super-speciality Hospital the cleanest hospitals in the city for managing their biomedical waste as per the 2016 Biomedical Waste Management Rules.
Schools and hospitals are integral public spaces which are frequented by students and people on a daily basis. Maintenance of cleanliness in public spaces is integral to our city’s cleanliness and Swachh Survekshan. By felicitating institutions which maintain cleanliness, we are giving out a public message on the importance of waste management and hygiene, said Dwijen Singh, Additional Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
The GMC has also awarded market associations on the basis of maintenance of cleanliness. Markets regularly witness generation of dry and wet waste and it is challenging for market associations to tackle waste in a systemic manner. Hence, the decision to reward such associations comes at the wake of not only recognising the good work done in the field of waste management and segregation, but also to ensure that people find out about waste management efforts in the city.
However, to assume that the citizens of Guwahati are oblivious of Swachh Survekshan 2018 would be incorrect. In days leading up to the Survekshan, the GMC received over 4,000 complaints of garbage dumping, mismanagement of waste collection, unclean surroundings and so on, on the official Swachhata app, of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA). Guwahati still sees occasional dumping of garbage along roads and episodes of uncollected garbage from households. The GMC has engaged 58 non-governmental organisations, who have their own vehicles, manpower and equipment, to collect garbage on the basis of complaints received on the app. The civic body is hopeful that the NGOs’ presence in the city’s waste management scenario will make a difference.
We regularly monitor the works of these NGOs. They are responsible for carrying out cleanliness drives, as well as day-to-day garbage collections. From January, officials of GMC will have also started checks to see how clean individual homes are and will also impose a penalty of Rs 500 on those who throw garbage in the open. We are happy that people are using the app to post complaints, as that makes it easier for us to figure out which area to focus on, said Mr Singh.
The GMC is hopeful of an improvement in ranking this year, as the instant response to complaints related to garbage collection are being addressed effectively. Since citizen feedback comprises 30 per cent weightage in Swachh Survekshan 2018, the GMC’s efforts to make citizens aware about the work done by the civic body is likely to play an important role in the city’s overall ranking this year.