This year, the Union government has decided to reach out to residents of India’s biggest cities over phone and seek their feedback on civic issues, before deciding on the ranking of the city in Swachh Survekshan. This is the first time the Centre will seek direct feedback from local residents for the survey under the Centre’s flagship Swachh Bharat Mission, which selects the 100 cleanest cities in India.
An evaluation committee will also visit each city that’s part of the survey and ask residents about the state of cleanliness there.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which takes the Swachh Survekshan very seriously and is always trying to find ways to improve its ranking, has published a list of questions likely to be asked by the Union committee. But that’s not all. The civic body has gone one step ahead and even provided “possible answers” to the questions.
Earlier this year, the PMC had faced flak for plummeting several places in the cleanliness survey — from 10th rank in 2018 to 37th in 2019 — despite undertaking several measures to secure a good rank and spending crores to appoint a private consultant for the same.
Determined to regain its spot in the top 10 in Swachh survey 2020, the PMC has supplied not only the list of questions the committee is likely to ask, but even the answers local residents are expected to give.
“Local residents are expected to give satisfactory responses to the questions being asked on cleanliness and civic services…,” said a public statement by the PMC.
“The PMC has published the list of possible questions that are likely to be asked about cleanliness. The ranking of the civic body will improve only if there is a favourable feedback,” said Dnyaneshkwar Molak, PMC’s joint municipal commissioner and in-charge of the solid waste management department.
He said the list of possible answers was provided merely to “guide” local residents on how to respond. “They are free to give their own feedback on the questions… there is no compulsion to give these specific responses,” said Molak.
The PMC official said public participation was a must for improving the ranking of the civic body in the Swachh Survekshan. “If the city can top rankings on the most liveable city in the country and executing the Right to Information (RTI) Act lists, then one needs to think why it can’t come out on top in the issue of cleanliness,” said Molak.
He said while local residents could say whatever they wanted in response to the Centre’s questions, if they did have any complaints on issues pertaining to cleanliness, they should first inform the concerned civic staff of the area so that those could be addressed.
The PMC has also urged local residents to download the Swachh app on their mobile phones and register their complaints.