In a quantum leap for its cleanliness, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has emerged among top rankers in the Swachh Bharat Sarvekshan.
Visakhapatnam got two awards: it ranked fifth in the survey commissioned for 73 cities by the Ministry of Urban Development and also emerged among the top 10 movers and the only one from the South. It improved by 39 ranks in the 2016 survey. It scored 1,643 marks out of the total of 2,000. Besides Surat, it's the only city to have ranked in the top 10 in Smart City Challenge and Swachh Bharat rankings.
“It's a vast improvement from the survey conducted in 2014 in which it stood at 235 among 476 cities with more than one lakh population,” Municipal Commissioner Praveen Kumar told Media. “It's the same manpower then and now. The results have been achieved by motivation, planning, mobilisation and execution,” he says.
For instance, for several weeks Mr. Pravin Kumar had made visits on Saturdays to improve night sanitation. Besides, in the earlier survey the parameters were not known. But with advance communication about the yardsticks for the survey the municipal corporation has been able to measure up to them well.
The Municipal Corporation has now acquired machinery like Bob Cats, excavators, road sweeping machines and compactors and other equipment spending Rs.33 crore. With another Rs.30 crore expected under Swachh Bharat more machines and push-carts for door-to-door collection will be acquired, he says.
The GVMC aims to further improve and takes its ranking to the top three, says Mr. Praveen Kumar. The city has been ranked number one by independent observer and in citizen feedback it ranked 11. In planning strategy for open defecation-free city and integrated solid waste management it got 50 out of 50 while in provision of public and community toilets it got 98 out of 150.
“There are still some gaps to be addressed. If the waste-to-energy plant (for which GVMC already signed a MoU) materialises the ranking will further improve. Also of the 200 community toilets planned, 50 will be taken up immediately,” Mr. Praveen Kumar told the media. . In information, education and behaviour change education communication too it scored 50 out of 50.