Swachh Survekshan: The cleanliness quotient of Indian cities

Vizag races ahead in Swachh rankings

A view of Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

The most significant contributing factor for Visakhapatnam achieving the status of the country’s third cleanest city, moving two places upwards than last year's fifth, in the Swachh Survekshan-2017 is its achieving open defecation-free city status and getting a certification.

Scoring 1797, it is just 11 and three points behind Indore and Bhopal that stood first and second respectively.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, around 12000 individual household toilets have been constructed towards achieving ODF status.

Besides household toilets, 330 community and public toilets have been provided, meeting the needs of several areas including at Gajuwaka and several peripheral villages that form part of the corporation.

Timely initiatives

The timely use of the incentives provided by the State government and steps taken by his predecessor Pravin Kumar, who is now Collector and Special Officer of GVMC, also helped in getting toilets constructed, says Municipal Commissioner M. Hari Narayanan.

Some 80-odd public toilets were repaired providing access to differently-abled and separate blocks for women and men.

To make them more user-friendly, they were provided electricity and water supply and connected to underground drainage of septic tanks. Eighty such toilets have been made more useful.

The formation of ward-level ODF committees is yet another innovative step that helped in citizen involvement at grass-root level.

Renovation of old public toilets also proved successful in attracting attention and teams from Jharkhand and Chandigarh who were impressed with the quality of construction, says Mr. Hari Narayanan.

Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor Advisory, supported by USAID, has been working on capacity building in the corporation for ODF status.

Another action that set GVMC apart is taking up night sanitation which is not done in several cities and it is a major advantage, says the Municipal Commissioner.

The municipal corporation has also adopted innovative means to prevent piling up of garbage particularly from commercial establishments. From as many as 2400 commercial establishments about 20 to 30 tonnes of wet waste is collected and transported to the mini compost yard at Gajuwaka and turned into compost. This has resulted in such establishments not dumping their waste into heaps on streets.

Work on waste-to-energy plant, taken up by GVMC as part of its eco-friendly initiative, at Kupuluppada dumping yard began recently.

Acknowledging the role of citizens as the biggest factor, Mr. Hari Narayanan says winning their confidence engaging with one lakh citizens in a fair manner is another major advantage.

People shared information through IVRS calls and also on online poll. The Ministry of Urban Development verified making random calls.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2021 2:07:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/vizag-races-ahead-in-swachh-rankings/article18388726.ece

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