October 22, 2020

Green push amid clean shame

Patna: The state capital has slipped to rank 312 in the Swachh Survekshan 2018 in which 485 cities were judged on cleanliness parameters. Last year, Patna was ranked 262 out of 434 cities, and the new city civic boss said on Sunday that the latest results – released by the Union ministry of urban development on Saturday night – are not “unexpected”.

Anupam Kumar Suman, the new commissioner of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), admitted that the poor ranking reflects lack of basic civic amenities including no proper treatment of sewerage, lack of door-to-door garbage collection, no proper drainage system and other such reasons. “For me, this result was very much expected due to these reasons,” he said. “The corporation will now work on short-term and long-term goals to fill in the gaps.”

New indicators have been added in the survey this year, said a senior civic body official who spoke under cover of anonymity.

“Last year, there were points for doorstep garbage collection but this time there were points on segregation, processing and disposal of waste. Two agencies that were given the garbage collection work didn’t do their job properly. They were terminated a month before the survey result. Forget about the segregation, processing and disposal of waste; there were 48 marks on segregation of dry and wet waste,” the official said.

Similarly, the official pointed out, there were 48 points for onsite processing of garbage by bulk garbage generators but the civic body showed no initiative on it. The bulk garbage generators had to process the trash into organic waste.

Moreover, only 16 of the 75 wards of PMC are open defecation free. Given the condition of the public and community toilets, that is hardly surprising. In this year’s survey, there were separate points on water connection to public toilets but Patna fares badly on that.

“Garbage was removed from the ‘vulnerable points’ but it was back after a few days. Also, there were points on the placement of twin bins (green and blue bins for dry and wet waste) every 500 metres in commercial places but this was implemented only in the Mauryalok complex,” the PMC official said.

Lack of biometric attendance for corporation workers, absence of drives to curb littering and urination, non-implementation of personal protection equipment for corporation labourers also let Patna down. So much so that even Katihar (rank 287) has done better than Patna.

A total of 25 cities in Bihar have got lower rank than Patna in the survey (see chart).

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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