INDORE: Participation of over 35 lakh population, hard work of 8,500 sanitation workers, innovative steps taken for waste management and its processing and key financial measures helped Indore get the top position in the Swachh Sarvekshan 2020 for the fourth time in a row.
Indore, the industrial hub of Madhya Pradesh, was adjudged India's cleanest city for the fourth straight year in the central government's cleanliness survey announced on Thursday. The survey was conducted in 4,242 cities in the country in which 1.9 crore people gave their opinions.
With the results, the Indore Municipal Corporation's (IMC) slogan 'Chouka lagayenge' (Will hit four) came to reality. After the results were announced, celebrations broke out in the city. Sanitation workers drew rangolis on the city streets by mentionining 'Indore No.1' in them.
BJP MP from Indore, Shankar Lalwani, expressed his happiness by dancing with women sanitation workers on the occasion.
In a message to the people of Indore, Municipal Commissioner Pratibha Pal said, "I congratulate the people of Indore and the understanding people and public representatives for making the city remain on top in the Swachh Sarveskshan for the fourth time in a row."
"The laborious cleanliness workers, too, deserve to be congratulated on the occasion as they worked hard irrespective of weather to ensure that the city remains neat and clean," she said. The waste management and processing schemes of the city also played a major role in achieving the target.
The IMC officials said that the capacity to dispose of about 1,200 tonnes of waste - 550 tonnes of wet and 650 tonnes of dry waste- in a secured manner daily has been developed in the city. They said that nearly 8,500 sanitation staffers work in three shifts- from 6 am to 4 am- daily to clean the city.
The officials also said that the waste collection boxes had already been removed from the city and nearly 700 vehicles of the civic body collect dry and wet waste, including diapers and sanitary napkins, and segregate them in separate compartments for their safe disposal.
Centre's Advisor for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Asad Warsi, said that for collecting waste from houses and commercial establishments, Rs 60 lakh was collected from the people as user charges in 2014-15. In 2019-20, it has increased by 60 times to reach Rs 36 crore, he said, adding that in the current fiscal, it will be around Rs 40 crore.
According to Warsi, waste processing plants in the city were set up on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for making them financially viable. "Now waste is not a burden for the city, but a valuable resource as through these plants, after processing dry and wet waste, the IMC has earned Rs six crore in 2019-20, which is likely to increase to Rs 10 crore in 2021-22," he added.
The IMC officials said that in 35,000 houses of the city, system for making manure from wet waste is already in place and this has reduced the generation of such waste. They added that the IMC also undertook innovative steps like establishing 'Thaila (bag) banks', 'Bartan (utensils) banks' and food ATMs' for providing surplus food from home and hotel-restaurants to the needy people.
Officials said that a ban has already been imposed on the use of single-use plastic products and these items have vanished from the city's famous Chaat Choupatis. Besides, 12 per cent of the treated sewage water of the city is being used in 25 gardens of the city to keep it green.
Indore had remained on top in Swachh Sarveskshan in the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 also.