May 18, 2024

Khandu lauds ‘Team Arunachal’, wants much cleaner city 

TAP | Updated: June 8, 2017

ITANAGAR, Jun 08: Chief Minister Pema Khandu attributed the ‘significant’ turnaround of the Capital Complex from being India’s third dirtiest city to becoming the 216th cleanest within a year to the ‘Team Arunachal’ motto adopted by the Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC), Capital Administration, NGOs and individuals.

“I have always been saying milestones are reached working in a team. IMC has proved it in a year. My salute goes to all involved (in achieving the milestone),” Khandu said at a function organised by IMC at the State Banquet Hall here on Thursday.

He also congratulated the NGOs who voluntarily joined the campaign and contributed to the efforts put in by IMC and the district administration, a CMO report said.

Khandu hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, and said the state governments took the drive seriously and the difference is visible countrywide.

He said that the prime minister is serious with all schemes and programmes announced and has made it mandatory for the chief ministers to submit action-taken reports and achievements made once in two months.

“With Modi as PM things have changed. There is a drastic change in work culture. Even if I am the chief minister, under him (Modi) I have to work as any other officer,” he pointed.

The chief minister announced that by 2018, Arunachal Pradesh will become an open-defecation free state. He said the department of PHE is implementing the programme and will ensure the target.

Khandu asserted that sanitation is a responsibility not only of the government, the IMC or the district administration but also of the citizens. He called upon each and every individual to take the responsibility of keeping their surroundings clean.

“The state capital is the face of Arunachal. Do we want it dirty?” he asked and beckoned all to take the city from the current 216th position to the top ten in the coming year.

He assured full support and cooperation to IMC in all its endeavours and urged the council members to utilise the funds granted judiciously.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein stressed on creating civic sense amongst the citizens and called for the leaders to set examples. He said if leaders, officers and responsible citizens exemplify their civic sense first, common people will follow.

Mein said Gandhi had emphasised the importance of sanitation years ago and we are learning now. He urged everyone to follow the advice of Gandhi and pledge to keep the surrounding clean.

Urban Development Minister Nabam Rebia and Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin also congratulated IMC for the achievement and said the target should now be to be one of India’s cleanest cities.

Capital Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan set the roadmap for the cleanliness drive. He said three major initiatives would be launched soon for augmenting the already existing collection and disposal of garbage in the state capital.

“Main focus now would be on source segregation or segregation at source. Two dustbins would be distributed free to every household of the city – one for recyclable waste (food wastes) and other for non-recyclable (plastic, electrical wastes),” Dhawan said.

Households will have to segregate the waste and collect it in the dustbin meant for it, which will be collected by IMC separately. The recyclable waste will be then processed into fertilisers and sold off to farmers at reasonable rate, the DC said.

He, however, said households who fail to segregate waste at the source will be penalised as decided by the Empowered Committee of IMC. “This way IMC would also earn revenue for its use.”

Another important initiative would be the launch of a new mobile app called ‘My Itanagar’, which would be available on Google play store.

Dhawan explained that through this app a citizen can upload a picture of unattended garbage and the municipality will clear it within 48 hours and upload the ‘cleaned up’ picture of the same in the app. This would be witnessed by every citizen using the app.

“The door-to-door garbage collection system would be taken a step further. Soon, an IMC person will actually knock on the door and personally collect the garbage,” he said.

As of now, citizens wait for the garbage collection team to arrive at a fixed time and handover their garbage.

Another important initiative is to make citizens responsible by levying minimal civic charges for the services rendered. This will not only earn some revenue for the council but also connect citizens with the campaign through the mode of contributing to the cause in cash.

The ‘civic charges’ was launched symbolically during the function besides distribution of dustbins to those present.

Earlier, IMC CMEO Habung Lampung explained the process and steps taken during last year that enabled Itanagar to better its image on the sanitation front.

Meanwhile, a host of councillors, officers, NGO involved in door-to-door garbage collection (Eco Tourism Society), artistes who helped in campaigning, sanitary assistants, drivers, cleaners and sweepers were felicitated for outstanding contribution to improving Itanagar’s image.

Later in the day, three technical sessions – Role of Citizens, Segregation at Source and Role of Technology – were held for the councillors, municipal officers, staff, NGOs and other stakeholders.

While Secretary of the Brand Ambassador Committee Tumbom Riba Jomoh took the first session, IMC Executive Engineer Tadar Tarang took the second and Circle Officer Bitu Kri the third technical session.