New Delhi: In 2017, as per government’s swachh rankings, the city of Ambala performed poorly and was put at a spot of 308 out of 434 cities, the main reason was poor handling of waste in the city. Learning a lesson from their bad performance, the city’s municipal corporation decided to do something in order to improve its rankings drastically by Swachh Survekshan 2018. On July 13, 2017, a month after the Swachh Survekshan 2017 results were announced, Municipal Commissioner Satyender Duhan launched an Oye! Ambala movement, which means ‘Open Your Eyes Ambala’. The motive of the campaign is to educate people to segregate their waste at source. Today, the initiative has gained a lot of momentum as the city is segregating more than 70% of its waste at source and is hoping to be in ‘Top 50 Cleanest Cities Of India’ in the Swachh Survekshan 2018.
With the deadline of 90 days, our objective was to achieve at least 30% waste segregation at source. Within 90 days, the city achieved 70% waste segregation target. Though our target has been successfully achieved, we are still working on to attain 100% waste segregation at source in the city, says Satyender Duhan.
The Success Story Of Oye! Ambala
Explaining how the campaign was successfully implemented, Mr Duhan added,
“We targeted 1 lakh 25 thousand households of the city along with 86 schools. What we did in an initial period was to make people aware why the city needs to know the importance of managing its own waste. For this, we went door-to-door, convinced people to come on board. Our volunteers were school children, they used to go out in every ward during day time. From educating them ON the basics of waste management, to telling them how to segregate the waste at source, we did it all.”
After people were convinced, the municipal corporation targeted safai karamcharis and sanitation workers.
“The municipal corporation team gave training to all the safai karamcharis and sanitation workers. They were guided to only accept the segregated waste from the people.”
“The residents were also given two different coloured dustbins by the corporation – a green and blue bin,” said Mr Duhan.
The Ambala corporation till date has successfully provided 1 lakh 75 thousands dustbins. Talking about how the waste is managed, Mr Duhan said,
The corporation has tied up with few dry waste processors who successfully recycle their waste. Whereas, the wet waste is taken to a ‘biocity’ plant where it gets converted into a manure fertilizer and CNG gas.
Besides all these steps, the municipal corporation has worked out an exclusive mechanism wherein every household has been given a unique ID plates that have been installed outside their houses. This has been done to ensure that both the residents and sanitation workers do their job effectively.
“If the waste is not being collected from the resident household, all they have to do is just click a picture of the unique ID numbers on the plate and upload it on the monitoring screen of the municipal corporation app. Once the complaint is received, the corporation will fine the contractor Rs 1000 per day,” said Mr Duhan.
Apart from punitive clause that ensures that the corporation does its job, the corporation has added another feature to make sure that residents follow the waste management system properly.
“Just like the household people have been given authority to register a complaint for waste not getting picked from the household, the sanitation workers can too register a complaint if the resident is not providing the worker the segregated waste.”
Explaining more about the feature Mr Duhan said,
“If a particular resident does not provide the workers with the segregated waste for three consecutive days, all the worker has to do is just upload the picture of the unique ID plate on the monitoring screen of the app and the corporation will impose a fine of Rs 100 on the house owner.”
Talking about the future plans, Mr Duhan added,
Currently, we are working on how the city can effectively treat the plastic waste. We are doing the research; soon we will come out with the solutions. For now, Ambala is hoping to perform better in this Swachh Survekshan 2018.