BHUBANESWAR: The much awaited Swachh Survekshan 2018 is out. But, Bhubaneswar, which was ranked No 1 in Smart City contest in 2016 and had emerged as fastest moving city in the East Zone last year, finds no mention in the award list. Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said the Capital could not find a place in the top-10 list of any category because the City is yet to be made open defecation free. “Open defecation is a major constraint for any City to perform well in the Swachhata Sarvekshan. Despite several awareness campaigns and provision of public toilets, people in many slums continue to defecate in the open,” he said.
Apart from the open defecation, lack of solid waste management and incomplete integrated sewerage system also came on the way denying the city any top rank. The `325-crore solid waste treatment plant at Bhuasuni has been delayed as the matter is sub-judice in the Kolkata bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT).Similarly, though the integrated sewerage system at a cost of `755 crore was to be completed by 2011, laying of underground gravity sewer for collection of sewage in several areas of the City is yet to be finished.
“As per the directions of the NGT, a waste-to-energy plant is under construction and I hope it will be completed in next two years. Similarly, the integrated sewerage system is expected to be put in place by 2020. In open defecation front, we have planned to achieve the goal in next one year,” Jena said. The State Capital was placed 94th among 434 cities in 2017 and 24th in 2016. It also figured in the ‘Aspiring Leader’ category among 73 participants in 2016.
It is still a million dollar question how could Bhubaneswar with similar status be termed as fastest moving city last year.Not only Bhubaneswar, other Cities including Rourkela, which has also been selected as a Smart City did not find place in this year’s survey, results of which were announced by Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Puri on Wednesday.
Of nine cities in the State that were covered in Swachh Survekshan 2017, Rourkela was ranked 168th followed by Berhampur at 187th place. While Balasore stood at 190th place, Puri was at 194th spot followed by Cuttack at 204th, Baripada at 261st, Sambalpur at 322nd and Bhadrak at 349th.