City SundayCover Story

PM’s pat keeps MCC on toes to retain ‘cleanest city’ tag

Having got a pat on the back from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of Smart Cities project for successfully implementing the Swachch Bharat Mission (SBM) and winning the ‘cleanest city’ tag second time in a row, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), time and again, has become the talk of the country.

The entire country, apparently, singing the praise of MCC for its efforts in keeping the heritage city clean and tidy, and the words of praise from the Prime Minister is nothing short of a long-cherished dream come true moment for MCC officials. MCC has indeed inspired all other corporations and municipalities, consequently, civic authorities from various cities in India have been visiting Mysuru to study the MCC-model.

“It’s a proud moment that the PM has praised Mysuru for its cleanliness. The greatest which challenge lies ahead is to retain the top spot for the third consecutive time without falling prey to complacent attitude and leverage it for economic growth, says MCC Commissioner Dr C G Betsurmath. “Our next goal is to achieve 100 percent segregation at source and to make Mysuru a ‘Open Defecation Free’ city. It will certainly be a hat-trick,” he added referring to winning the ‘cleanest city’ tag in 2017.

The very reason that Mysuru retained the cleanest city tag was due to MCC’s methodical planning of 100 percent door-to-door collection of waste through 168 auto tippers and 130 push carts and a greater share of participation from citizen groups like Let’s do it! Mysuru which consistently got the people engaged in trash segregation and educated them about waste segregation at source.

In addition to this, MCC, in order to encourage people to segregate the waste at source, has distributed two colour coded bins to 1, 50,000 households. MCC is collecting the wet waste every day and dry waste twice a week from each house.

With city’s population crossing 10 lakh and waste generation being 402 tonne every day, the MCC’s only concern is untreated waste of around 170 tonne which goes to landfills on daily basis. “Mysuru generates 402 tonne of waste every day. We have a centralised compost plant of 200 TPD near Vidyaranyapuram where 175 TPD is treated and 30-35 TPD of manure is produced by following window composting method. MCC gets good revenue out of it,” said MCC Health Officer Dr Nagaraj.

The civic body treats as much as 45 TPD waste at its nine Zero Waste Management (ZWM) plants, out of which one is dysfunctional, and sends around 10 TPD market waste to Mysore Pinjarapole Society which is a big relief for the civic body.

Two more compost plants, one in Kesare and another in Rayankere with capacity of 200 TPD and 100 TPD respectively, are awaiting the airport authority and appraisal committee’s nod. Once the MCC receives go-ahead orders, the plants will start functioning, thus treating the remaining waste which is now going to the landfills. The MCC has set aside Rs 43 crore in its recently announced budget for the project which also include the remodelling of existing plants.

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Source of Waste Generation

“Days are not far away when we could treat all the waste generated in the city and produce more tonne of manure out of it,” says Dr Nagaraj.

One of the major challenges MCC faces is of segregation of waste at source. Despite a series of awareness drives, educating people about waste segregation, a majority of the people still stick to their old practice.

The MCC employs 1.37 pourakarmikas per km, but handles more solid waste, 402 tonnes, or 27 truck-loads, when compared to its rival Chandigarh – the second ‘cleanest city’ under SBM. Mysuru generates 0.50 kg of garbage per person daily as against Chandigarh’s 0.35 kg.

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Physical properties of Waste Generated

Open Defecation Free (ODF) Mysuru

With SBM mainly targeting at making India ODF by 2019, MCC too has swung into action by identifying Open Defecation (OD) spots in city. Since the launch of SBM two years ago, MCC has identified 11 OD spots, out of which 10 have been declared ODF. “There is a practice of OD in ward 48. Work is on to make it ODF by constructing public and community toilets. It would take around three months for us to declare Mysuru ODF, says Dr Nagaraj. He also sought public involvement in identifying OD spots in city. “If any spot has skipped the MCC’s checklist, people can inform us,” adds Dr Nagaraj.

Plastic Ban

The ban on sale of plastic in the city, effective since March 16, 2016, has turned out to be a boon with a drastic decline in plastic waste generation. The city generates around 40 TPD as against 72 TPD prior to the plastic ban. Though MCC claims to have put a blanket ban on the sale of plastic, it has, apparently, only banned the sale of plastic carry bags while the plastic bags continue to be used for packaging purpose.

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It may be recalled that MCC had in recent days faced criticism from traders and hoteliers over plastic ban. The civic body was criticised for banning plastic without providing any alternative to it.

Exclusive website and toll free number

MCC has launched a dedicated website www.mysurucleancity.com aimed at increasing the public participation in helping MCC keep the city clean. People on the website are asked to share their feedbacks and suggestions on cleanliness. The virtual platform is used to create awareness among Mysureans on cleanliness aspects and keep them updated with ongoing and upcoming assignments of the corporations on cleanliness.

Besides, it encourages people to lodge complaints regarding cleanliness issue by dialling a toll free number: 1800-2672777.

Though the civic body is doing its best to ensure the city remains clean and tidy, all its efforts will go in vain if there is no attitudinal change among the citizens.

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