Swachh Survekshan: Can apps decide clean city ranking?

Swachh Survekshan: Can apps decide clean city ranking?

Swachhata-MoHUA app was the platform for public participation and feedback. Photo/Google Playstore

The city secured the third place in the Swachh Survekshan drive among urban bodies with a population between 3 to 10 lakh of India, in the year 2019. Citizen feedback was one of the three parameters for evaluation of the survey that carried 35% of the weightage.

Swachhata-MoHUA app was the platform for public participation and feedback. The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) focused on topping the list, forgetting the realities on the ground. The response through the app became the focus element, rather than on-ground audit and assessment of the progress of Swachhata (cleanliness). Citizens were asked to submit positive feedback, irrespective of their personal opinion.

K Srinidhi, a student of JSS Science and Technology University (JSSSTU), said, “There is definitely improvement in cleanliness across the city. But the ranking system does not necessarily reveal where Mysuru actually stands, compared to other cities, in terms of actual cleanliness. The MCC officials visited educational institutions, under the guise of creating awareness about Swachh Survekshan and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, but asked the students and staffers to give positive feedback on the app, to facilitate the top slot.”

Vani Sivakumar, principal of Chaitra PU College, said, “One must redefine the term ‘cleanliness’, if we label Mysuru as ‘clean city’. Measures lie in the books to keep the city clean. None of them are seen being implemented. Separation of dry and wet waste should be considered seriously.”

Ruchi Nigam, a graduate from IIT-Roorkee, said, “The word ‘cleanliness’ is heard only during the survey period. Later, nobody bothers to maintain it around the city. Garbage dumped on open spaces attract insects, stray pigs and dogs, besides polluting the environment”.

N S Veena, a resident of Dattagalli, said, “Only public places like railway station and bus stand, owned by some government agencies, look clean. Other areas across the city must also be considered to maintain cleanliness.”

H S Pawan, a civil engineer with DK Constructions, said, “The city deserves the top slot, among clean cities. But, I wish the MCC authorities and also the citizens maintain cleanliness around us throughout the year, not just during the survey time."