New Delhi: Participation in Swachh Survekshan 2018 turned out to be a dampener for West Bengal, as 8 out of India’s 10 worst performing cities belonged to the state. If Bengal’s performance in Swachh Survekshan was a disappointment, the state can breathe slightly easier as New Town, the planned city in capital Kolkata’s northern fringes has been recognised and rewarded as a Green City. The honour was bestowed upon New Town by the Indian Gold Building Council (IGBC), a building certification organisation which is a part of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
Waste management has been prioritised by the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA). The NKDA has launched a fleet of 20 waste management vehicles with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which enables municipal officials to keep a track of the vehicles when they pick up garbage and transport them. The NKDA officials have set up a monitoring centre, which checks if all the garbage collection vehicles visit their designated areas and collect and transport waste accordingly.
Apart from waste management, NKDA has also focused on improving other civic amenities in New Town, thereby making the city suitable for residential purposes. IGBC has praised the three water ATMs installed in the planned city, which enables people to collect water throughout the day. Electric buses have also been introduced in New Town and cover all areas in the township. Over 20 such buses with 32 seats in each have been rolled out and four charging points have also been set up across New Town. With over 20,000 people using New Town’s bus fleet daily, the electric vehicle experiment has worked well for Kolkata’s green city. With a new cycle-hiring scheme all set to be introduced, New Town may be the trendsetter that Kolkata and West Bengal desperately needs to perform better in the coming editions of Swachh Survekshan.
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.