Urban municipal bodies in Jharkhand are again gearing up for the annual Swachh Survekshan 2019, the pan-India sanitation survey of Union housing and urban affairs ministry scheduled from January 4, 2019.
Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee, which covers a bulk of the steel city, and Ranchi, Dhanbad and Chas (Bokaro) municipal corporations are among those looking forward to better their rankings. In 2018, Chas, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad were placed 19, 21, 30 and 53, respectively. But, whether they move up the list depends largely on how effectively each manages its waste collection, segregation and recycling.
Explaining how the 2019 swachh survey would work, joint secretary Union ministry of housing and urban affairs Vinod Kumar Jindal told this paper that urban bodies would be marked on 5,000 points, not 4,000 like in 2018. “Data will be collected from four broad sources, service level progress, direct observation, citizen feedback and certification, each with 1,250 marks. Solid waste management comes under service level progress,” he said.
Waste remains the biggest bugbear for capital Ranchi.
“Outsourced agency Essel Infra started doorstep waste collection in 34 of 53 wards, but segregation and recycling are non-starters,” admitted RMC city manager Sandeep Kumar who looks after Swachh Bharat Mission. Work on the waste recycling plant at Jhiri near Ranchi is yet to start.
In industrial capital Jamshedpur, JNAC has some advantage in the form of Tata Steel command areas looked after by corporate utilities company Jusco.
“In Jusco-serviced areas, dry and wet waste is separated at the doorstep collection stage. Jusco has a treatment facility for bio-degradable waste at Jubilee Park. We can point these out in the survey. But, there is risk of negative marking when field surveyors realise these facilities are only for company areas,” said a senior JNAC official.
JNAC special officer Krishna Kumar admitted to delays in getting their waste-to-energy recycling unit ready at the proposed site in Khairbani. “That’s a big minus and a big reason why we are not in the top 10,” he said. He added doorstep trash collection had started but not so much their segregation.
Dhanbad is a bigger mess without doorstep trash collection and segregation. But DMC city manager (sanitation) Vijay Kumar said they were bucking up. “We recently issued a tender for taking garbage from main roads to landfill sites. We procured over 200 rickshaw carts fitted with bins for doorstep trash collection,” he said. But work on the Rs 276 crore waste recycling project has not yet started, he admitted.
In Bokaro satellite town Chas, doorstep trash collection might start soon, Chas deputy mayor Avinash Kumar said. Garbage continues to be thrown in the open for lack of a landfill, but the deputy mayor said they would build a landfill site at Kalapatthar.