Khandu attributes collective effort for the feat
ITANAGAR, May 04: Itanagar has graduated from India’s third dirtiest city last year to be 216th among 500 cleanest cities in the country.
Indore in Madhya Pradesh tops the list of cleanest cities announced on Thursday. The ranking was done after the conclusion of cleanliness survey Swachh Survekshan 2017.
Itanagar was placed seventh, ahead of Meghalaya capital Shillong, among the major urban centres in the seven North East states.
Chief minister Pema Khandu attributed the achievement to collective effort of the people of the city, the Itanagar Municipal Council (IMC), the government machinery, NGOs and social activities.
Swachh Sarvekshan ranks the 500 cities on performance in urban sanitation. It consists of 2,000 marks with components such as door-to-door garbage collection, transportation, processing and disposal, toilets, information, education and behaviour change, and capacity building.
At least 12,200 locations were assessed during the country-wide survey, whose performance evaluation was done by Quality Council of India, an autonomous body established in 1997.
“The first official event I was privileged to attend on assuming this chair was the launch of door-to-door solid waste collection in the twin township of Itanagar-Naharlagun. Garbage is the single biggest problem any city or town faces and its effective management is of utmost importance for a cleaner city,” Khandu said.
A lot of investment was put in to equip the municipalities and district administrations with vehicles, manpower and other facilities, the chief minister said.
“The authorities concerned will try to do their best, but the success of cleanliness initiatives is in the hands of the citizens who have to be aware about their responsibilities in keeping their surroundings clean and plastic-free,” Khandu said, adding it was heartening to see people voluntarily clean their localities.
Khandu said IMC has been strengthened with men and machines to improve efficiency in disposal of garbage since August 8 last year. He appealed to the people to avoid throwing household garbage in nearby streams, drains, rivers or on the streets.
For now, though, Itanagar’s leap by 281 places from the country’s third dirtiest city needs to be celebrated, the chief minister said.
“While rejoicing, we reaffirm our commitment to make the city one of India’s cleanest,” he added.
Tarh Nachung, deputy chief councillor of IMC, said Itanagar’s rise in cleanliness ranking was a great achievement for the people of the capital complex.
“The image of Itanagar has changed with the large and more positive participations of various NGOs and people through social services, cooperation in garbage collection. The support and guidance of IMC chief councillor Kipa Kaku and all councillors have contributed to this,” he said in an official communiqué.
Innovative measures for the survey by chief municipal executive officer Habung Lampung and his team played a major role too, he said. “The team had been on mission mode to remove the dirtiest tag from the city.”
Nachung sought the state government’s support for more vehicles and manpower towards making Itanagar one of India’s top 10 clean cities.