THE CHANDIGARH Municipal Corporation shifted the onus of its lower rank on the citizens’ feedback which, they felt, brought them down to rank 11. However, the residents claimed that the civic body cannot force them to give positive feedback as they were not satisfied with the sanitation situation. While Chandigarh scored 1,701 marks and Indore that ranked 1 was ahead by 107 marks, the officials said that had the citizens given proper feedback, they could have even scored rank 1. Chandigarh scored 379 marks in citizens’ feedback while Indore scored 497.
The Centre for Sciences and Environment in its book “Not in my backyard” released in Delhi in July last year had already pointed out the poor transport and disposal system of garbage in Chandigarh which left residents up in arms against the civic body. Residents’ welfare associations had been pointing out the same issue time and again. In the solid waste collection and transportation, Chandigarh scored 348 out of 400 marks.
“In the other parameters we had a perfect score. In the municipal self-declaration, we scored 883 which is the highest score nationally. In the on-site observation, we had 439 out of 500, a score better than Indore. It was just in citizens’ feedback that we scored less,” said Municipal Commissioner Baldeo Purushartha. Baljinder Bittu, chairman of Federation of Sectors Welfare Association, Chandigarh, said, “MC should know that residents are not satisfied. They advertised a lot to give feedback on 1969 number. But they can’t force us to give positive feedback. Garbage is dumped everywhere and if we tell them, they don’t even resolve the problem.”
He added, “They could have scored more on the other parameters as well and ranked ahead of Indore, if they are blaming the citizens’ feedback for the result.” The councillors had been pointing it out in the House for the last three months that the residents were complaining about garbage dumped in their localities. A BJP councillor, Kanwarjeet Rana, even went to the extent of saying that the Swachh Abhiyan is a flop show. The councillors said that despite posting pictures of unclean areas, the garbage remained dumped for days together.
In the category of downloading Swacchta application (part of citizens’ feedback), Chandigarh scored only 30 out of 150 while in the feedback given through number or website, they got 349 out of 450. In the on-site observation where the city scored 439 out of 500, the inspection at vegetable, fruit and meat market scored 39 out of 70, while in the category of community toilets, the city scored 145 out of 180 while Bhopal’s was the highest, that is 161. In the observation of garbage situation in residential area, slums, colonies, the city got 38 out of 60 marks.
Anil Vohra, the president of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal said, “Does the civic body even ask the citizens at their own level? The moment they start addressing the grievances of people, the citizens’ feedback will improve.”