ROURKELA : Post FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, Rourkela faces a harsh reality as its standing in the Swachh Survekshan (SS) 2023 rankings witnessed a significant decline. The city, once at 45th place in 2022, now finds itself at an alarming 119th position in the category of three lakh to five lakh population.
In the latest SS 2023, Rourkela has also been downgraded to fifth cleanest city in Odisha from its top position in 2022. The degradation extends to the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, downgraded from ODF++, and a mere single star in the Garbage Free City (GFC) category. Critics attribute the declining status to poor management, inadequate field visits, monitoring, and enforcement by the Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC) that has led to the situation.
“Despite having sufficient resources and spending on sanitation, the RMC’s performance falls short due to the lack of effective monitoring,” they argued, adding, the scientific garbage disposal continues to be a mess for the RMC with seven of the eight Micro Composting Centres (MCCs) functioning with maximum capacity to process 40 tonne of wet garbage into manure when the city daily produces above 100 tonne of municipal solid waste (MSW). So the rest of the waste gets illegally dumped at an unauthorised landfill site near the world’s largest Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium (BMIHS) at Chhend Colony where the HWC was held in January 2023, they stated.
“It was only during a brief period the city was given a spick and span look to co-host the HWC in January 2023,” they asserted.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) general secretary Biren Senapati said poor maintenance of community toilets has forced people to opt for open defecation. “A large number of modular toilets installed at important places are either not usable or remaining locked. The need of the hour is accountability and improved outcomes,” he alleged.
RMC Commissioner Dr. Subhankar Mohapatra said he is yet to study the details of the survey. “After analysing the grey areas, the civic body would take remedial measures for improvement,” he assured.