CUTTACK: Cuttack has lived up to its sullied reputation of a dirty city with the Swachh Survekshan survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Development placing it at a lowly 59 among 73 cities.
The Millennium City mustered only around 925 points of a total 2000 for assessing performance across several key parameters including improvement in solid waste management, sanitation, construction of toilets and efforts for bringing behavioural changes in the citizenry. The extensive cleanliness survey carried out by Quality Council of India (QCI) has also marked the city as a slow mover in terms of effecting visible changes on the ground.
Even as the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has implemented an integrated solid waste management system involving systematic collection of garbage, mechanical sweeping of roads and transportation of garbage to the disposal yard at Chakradharpur since 2011, the survey has projected a complete failure on all counts.
The city has been given a score of 200 of total 400 assigned to door to door collection, sweeping and transportation. Points gained for waste processing and disposal are a pathetic 10 of total 200.
The QCI survey covered 42 locations in the city covering railway stations, bus stands, religious places, major market places, planned and unplanned residential areas including slums and toilet complexes.
On account of provisioning of public and community toilets and individual household latrines (IHHL), the city has been given 59 and 49 of total 150 points each, while implementing strategies for making Cuttack an open defecation free town has got it 27 points of 50. The city authorities, however, have been acknowledged for their efforts in behaviour change communication by getting 40 of 50.
The citizen sentiment too reflected the ratings, giving an even lower ranking of 63 to the city. Only 20 per cent of citizens surveyed stated Cuttack to be clean while 69 per cent reported to have IHHLs. The major citizen grouse was lack of sanitation with only 78 per cent stating there were no dustbins in sight and 79 per cent saying there was no door to door collection. As high as 78 per cent said they had no access to toilet within 500 metre and a whopping 86 per cent complaining the public toilets lacked in basic infrastructure.
The civic body authorities, however, said sincere efforts were being made to improve sanitation and cleanliness in the city. "Cuttack is an unplanned city and has very high slum concentration. We are focusing on improving sanitation by way of increasing number of toilets at the community level and motivating people to use them. A massive and sustained clean-up drive will be undertaken across major garbage generating areas like Chhatra Bazaar and other market places in next few days. The CMC is working under a comprehensive development plan, results of which will be visible in next two to three months," CMC Commissioner Gyana Das said.