| Dustbins purchased for Clean Bhubaneswar Campaign lie unused on Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation premises near Kalpana Square. Picture by Ashwinee Pati |
Bhubaneswar, May 20: “Clean Bhubaneswar” remains just a slogan with an eponymous campaign launched last year to keep the city clean dying a premature death.
About 40 dustbins procured for cleaning purposes as part of the Clean Bhubaneswar Campaign are now lying unused on the premises of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The campaign had to be folded up after being implemented in just two of the capital’s 60 wards. It was funded jointly by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum — Good Practices Scheme (CLG-GPS) and the corporation.
However, wards 22 and 47 were the only beneficiaries of the scheme.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the campaign on April 16 last year. On that occasion, a “parimal rath” (sanitation chariot) was also flagged off and a pada yatra (rally) was organised in ward No. 22. In ward No. 47, Chief Justice of Orissa High Court V. Gopala Gowda launched the campaign the next day.
Sources said the dustbins that are lying unused at the BMC office cost around Rs 5,000 each. During the launch of the campaign in the two wards of the capital last year, about 100 dustbins were also distributed.
The campaign was launched with much fanfare as schoolchildren and actors from the Odia film industry took part in programmes organised by the corporation to mark the occasion. They took part in rallies carrying placards with messages to keep the city clean.
The aim to include schoolchildren in the campaign was to make the future citizens involved in the cleanliness drive. However, with the campaign not progressing beyond the two wards of the corporation, the agenda of the programme could not move further.
|The Telegraph report dated April 16, 2011, on chief minister Naveen Patnaik launching Clean Bhubaneswar Campaign at Shahid Nagar.
The BMC authorities also planned to educate people on keeping the capital’s drains clean so that during rains the surface water can have an easy passage through the natural drainage channels. But in reality, most of the primary, secondary and tertiary drains become choked because of dumping of polythene and various solid wastes.
Talking to The Telegraph mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said: “The Clean Bhubaneswar Campaign was stopped midway because of fund crunch. The CLG-GPS had promised us to provide funding for the campaign. But, they have provided money for the campaign for only two wards. No funding was available for spreading the campaign to other wards. So, the BMC had to stop the campaign. However, now we are talking to other donor agencies so that the campaign could be launched again.”
Regarding the unused dustbins, the mayor said: “The unused dustbins that are lying near the BMC office will be used for public purposes. They will be distributed again after re-launching the campaign.”
Councillor of ward No. 22 Umanath Mishra said: “The campaign was launched in my ward on April 16. But much before the BMC-CLG initiative, we were organising cleanliness campaigns from August 15 to August 31 every year on our own. We were getting a good response and it was helpful in making people aware about their own responsibilities to keep the city clean.”
“From the knowledge gained from our local drive earlier, I have proposed the corporation to adopt two ideas — felicitate those who contribute towards city’s cleanliness and take punitive actions against those who litter in the city’s clean surroundings. Only by rewarding the contributors and punishing the violators, can we progress in our cleanliness endeavours. Otherwise, the campaign will have no meaning,” added the councillor.
Urban management practitioner Piyush Ranjan Rout said: “If the campaign could not progress beyond the two BMC wards, the civic authorities should have engaged the dustbins across the city as dustbins are still required in many areas. On the other hand, only placing dustbins on roadsides cannot solve our problem. People should be made aware about keeping their surroundings clean and punitive measures should also be introduced for those who litter the surroundings.”