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How to Keep Small Cities Clean, Chhindwara Shows the Way

in the cleanliness survey-2022 conducted by the Centre, Chhindwara was adjudged the third cleanest city in Madhya Pradesh. And, in the small cities category, Chhindwara came first in Madhya Pradesh and eight in the country. This time the city got 5912 marks out of 7500 marks of the survey, and its cleanliness model has now arrested everyone's attention.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Like in the last few years, this year also, Indore has been adjudged the cleanest city for the sixth time in a row in the cleanliness survey by central government in the cleanliness survey-2022. Madhya Pradesh stood first in the best performing state category and Bhopal was adjudged the second cleanest city in Madhya Pradesh after Indore. But the city that came third took everyone by surprise – Chhindwara. Chhindwara came first in Madhya Pradesh and eight in the country in the small cities section.

From door-to-door garbage collection to sanitation activities and innovations, the city’s rank has improved by 22 points from the previous years. This time the city got 5912 marks out of 7500 marks of the survey, and its cleanliness model has arrested everyone’s attention.

So what makes Chhindwara one of the cleanest small cities of India? Indian Masterminds spoke to 2011-batch IAS officer and Collector of Chhindwara, Saurav Kumar Suman, to find out.

CHHINDWARA MODEL
All the components of cleanliness or all standards laid down by the central government have been strictly complied to by the Chhindwara Municipal Corporation. As there is door-to-door collection of garbage, it has been properly consolidated in all the 48 wards there. Adequate garbage vehicles have been installed at all those places. Apart from this, awareness campaigns on waste are carried out, door to door. As a result, there is a lot of awareness among people regarding proper waste disposal.

“In our awareness campaign, we explain to the people how to segregate and keep the garbage separately. And now it has become a habit of the people here. That is why we have done well this time,” Mr. Suman said.

This time, the city fulfilled the standard of segregation from the source itself with proper collection from house to house. Also, in the last several years, constant efforts have been made to ensure that there are no garbage points left in the city. Whatever dumping stations were inside the city were all eliminated. Now the garbage goes directly from the vehicles to the trenching ground built outside the city.

Also, there is a processing plant in which compost is made from waste and this creates income. There is also a CND plant, paver blocks are made using the waste of building material from inside the city. So no garbage or waste material related to construction is collected in the district.

WORKFORCE AND STRATEGY
Special attention has also been paid to the server system while ensuring that sewerage work goes on fast. One zone has been completed while work is in progress in the rest. The sanitation workers does day to day cleaning regularly without fail, by dividing it into different segments in the morning and evening. Also, there’s a different strategy regarding cleanliness in commercial areas and residential areas. While cleaning takes place both in the morning and in the evening in commercial areas, it is done early morning in residential areas.

CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT
At the same time, engagement with the citizens is very high. “That is why our district got the first place in citizen engagement in the whole country. People have played their role responsibly. If someone is seen spreading dirt somewhere, then concerned citizens stop it and take care of it themselves. If the citizens of the city are aware, then is easy for the corporation to work. The people here have a proud feeling that they have to keep their city clean and take it forward,” Mr. Suman said.

The special thing is that the engagement with the citizens is not only about cleanliness, but also to listen to their daily problems, whether it is related to drains or road breakdown or not being able to make a certificate. There are ward visits of corporation personnel and engineers in the morning where they listen to all the problems. A register is maintained of these problems and their follow-up is also recorded.

SURVEY
In March-April this year, a team was sent by the Ministry of Urban Development to Chhindwara to conduct a survey. During the survey, lots of innovations in cleanliness were clearly seen by the team like, manufacturing of T-shirts and caps from the waste of plastic bottles, zero waste ward, house-to-house composting from wet waste, construction and demolition waste processing in Jamunjhiri, making incense sticks from temple flowers, making cakes from fecal sludge and using energy from it, etc. This led to the city getting the top central government award in the cleanliness section.


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