Looking glass before  swachh  survey

Why your capital still has miles to go

By A.S.R.P. Mukesh
  • Published 4.01.18
  •  
THE GOOD: A modular toilet on wheels parked in Morabadi, Ranchi, on Wednesday reflects the RMC’s endeavour to improve hygiene and sanitation in the state capital. 
THE BAD:  Unattended garbage near Kadru Chowk 
THE UGLY: A flooded artery close to Booty More show the gaps between ambition and reality. Pictures by Prashant Mitra

On the eve of the annual pan-India cleanliness survey launch, the million dollar question is whether state capital Ranchi will score any better.

In the Swachh Survekshan 2017, Ranchi had ranked 62nd among 73 cities put to test by the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs. This time, the competition is harder with 4,000-plus contenders. Also, out of the total 4,000 marks, 1,400 each has been reserved for documentation and citizen feedback while the remaining 1,200 will depend on spot observation of inspection teams.

The RMC's preparedness, on the other hand, is dubious as ever. On Wednesday, too, mounds of garbage were seen lying unattended in Chutia. In Namkum, a road was flooded with sewage water. And, stinking puddles dotted Booty More.

A.S.R.P. Mukesh turns the spotlight on the capital's swachh highs and lows

waste disposal

With the help of its private partner Essel Infra, the RMC offers door-to-door garbage collection in both commercial and residential areas. The service has been mired in problems, ranging from delays to strikes.

Civic insiders maintain that the system has been streamlined to a great extent over the past year with 700 employees engaged in daily collection, but disposal of garbage remains an issue. The Jhiri solid waste plant project, proposed four years ago, is yet to leave the drawing board

Sanitation

In the last one year, the RMC claims to have constructed over 31,000 individual toilets and close to 100 community toilets to the earn the ODF tag. These apart, over 80 modular toilets have been installed across the city

Deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya says open defecation is a thing of the past owing to spot fines and awareness campaigns, but the reality stares at the RMC from railway tracks and riverbanks every morning

Littering

To ensure clean roads, the RMC identified over a dozen arteries and installed dustbins - separate ones for dry and wet waste - at every 500 metres. Municipal commissioner Shantanu Agrahari said meetings and inspections had been held at community level, and fines slapped. Oddly, littering hasn't quite stopped in most commercial areas

Online pledge

Civic mandarins claim to have achieved a download target of 24,000 set for the Centre's swachhta app. More than 17,000 complaints have been received and resolved, they say

Citizen feedback

Residents had a mixed reaction. "The situation has improved compared to last year. Modular toilets are conspicuous by their presence; so are dustbins. But, the point is how many use them. We still see people urinating in the open and littering roads," said Saket Mishra, a retired banker and resident of Lalpur.

"How can we say Ranchi is clean when the city doesn't even have a proper drainage system? In monsoon, it turns into a cesspool. Unless basic necessities are fixed, survey rankings are mere eyewash," said Sudhir Singh, also from Lalpur.

Which other areas should RMC focus on? Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com