It’s again a big achievement for Indore! One of the most developed and urban cities of Madhya Pradesh has been crowned as the cleanest city in the country. This year the Union government’s Cleanliness Survey has hailed Madhya Pradesh’s commercial capital in the Swachh Survekshan 2018. Indore was the cleanest city last year as well when the survey was conducted only for around 430 cities. But, this time around, Indore has beaten around 4,200 cities to grab this coveted spot. So, how has Indore risen to the top in terms of cleanliness is grabbing eyeballs of every other city in India.
Indore residents have struck a chord with the city’s Municipal Corporation’s cleanliness campaign. Taking the first step, the campaign has municipal vehicles collecting garbage from households across the city. Hundreds of vehicles in the city collect the waste, which is sent to the transportation hub, and from there to the trenching ground. Waste is then collected once a day from residential areas, and twice from commercial areas.
Safai workers clean the streets at night including Sarafa bazaar, Indore’s famous night food market. In fact, the Municipal Corporation has its theme song sung by singer Shaan which is called “Swachhta aadat hai, swachhta utsav hai”.
The Indore Municipal Corporation has nearly 10,000 employees and officers. The city’s Mayor Malini Gaud has held about 400 meetings of citizens and has administered the oath of cleanliness to more than four lakh people over the past year. Many a time, she has stepped out of her official vehicle to fine offenders personally.That’s not all, the municipal body crackdown is evident from the fact that in December last year, the municipal body began to slap spot fines from Rs 250 to Rs 500 on those spitting on roads, urinating in the open, or littering.
In October, IMC distributed 1,000 free dustbins to vehicle owners to encourage them to not throw waste out of windows. The bottle shaped dustbins, which are now sold, for Rs 35 each fit into car bottleholders. Moreover, 1,000 ragpickers have been employed to segregate dry waste and recycling units have been installed in gardens, marriage halls and outside hotels to make compost from organic waste. The IMC has also kept a check at overflowing garbage bins. Swachhata Samitis were set up in schools and colleges, and public toilets were built to keep the cleanliness and sanitation issues at bay.
The two major reasons Indore was selected as the cleanest city of India were:(By Rakshit Nagayach)
- The point-to-point preparation of the several aspects considered under the cleanliness survey which included garbage collection, public health, public toilets, individual household toilets, and the disposal/recycling and reuse of the waste. Several teams were divided for separate works and were monitored on a day to day basis by the senior officials. The health officers, Deputy commissioners, Additional commissioners, chief Sanitary Inspectors, and the entire engineering team was working towards one major goal; making Indore one of the cleanest cities of India. The biggest challenge back in 2017 was making Indore Open Defecation Free (O.D.F.) which was successfully achieved in the same year itself and played a major role for Indore to score the rank. More and more garbage collection vehicles were purchased and their routes were decided to collect household as well as commercial waste on a daily basis from each and every household of Indore. The citizens of Indore also played a brilliant role in helping the Indore Municipal Corporation by cooperating from the very beginning of the mission. The Municipal Commissioner Mr. Manish Singh made sure his entire staff, ranking from the Additional Commissioners to the sweeping staff were giving their best and doing their duties with 101% efforts. The trenching ground/landfill sitewhere the waste collected from the entire city, both the dry and wet (organic) waste is dumped was looked upon and the plans of preparing world class organic manure from the wet waste collected from kitchens was planned to execute. Similarly, several individual ragpickers were put under a contract to segregate the dry waste in different categories including paper, plastic bottles, leather, cotton scrap, etc.
- The second reason is much more important and much more the actual reason behind Indore ranking number 1 in the country. Back in October 2017, while I was visiting Jaipur, I could see all the major roads clean; the tourist places were pretty clean and so were the gardens and that was actually the same in most of the other major cities of India. But, the point is, the important roads of metro cities and the other state capitals are always kept clean; it’s the inner areas, the core residential areas of the city which are much harder to be kept clean on a regular basis. And that is where Indore hit the perfect shot. From sending the garbage collection vehicles everyday (sometimes on a double trip during festivals) to government sweepers known as Safai Mitra, cleaning the city’s residential areas twice a day. However narrow the lanes are, none is ignored. Each and every residential society was taken care of. The zonal offices and sanitary inspectors along with their staff would take rounds of these areas everyday and would directly connect with the locals to find out if they were facing any problems. Several NGOs were hired to make people aware of cleanliness, garbage, Defecation and usage of public toilet. This built confidence in the local residents as well and with time they started contacting the municipal corporation staff for any issues themselves. It was not an overnight succes, trust me, I have seen my colleagues and senior officers work tirelessly to keep Indore greener and cleaner than ever.