SUBJECT :Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 

 Panchkula has fared the worst among the tricity in the Swachh Survekshan-2017. It has been ranked 211th out of 434, far behind Chandigarh and Mohali, ranked 11th and 121st, respectively. The city stands fourth among 18 in Haryana behind Karnal (65), Faridabad (88) and Gurugram (112). Panchkula scored 968 marks out of 2000 while Chandigarh scored 1701 and Mohali 1193. Panchkula lost a lot of marks on various grounds, the major being garbage disposal and shortage of sanitation staff. Residents have blamed differences between MC officials and politicians for the city’s dismal show. Of the 879 sanctioned posts of sanitation worker, 227 are vacant. Of the 652 sanitation workers, only seven are regular while the others are on contract. 

Dumping ground bane of city 

The dumping ground in Sector 23 was one major reason behind the city’s low score. Its maintenance, land filling and other aspects of solid waste management were marked poorly. The landfill is not operational and it is not even under development. The treatment of waste in the city also came under the scanner and was not satisfactory.

Shortage of staff

Shortage of sanitation workers and other staff was another reason for the city losing marks. A total of 40 per cent posts are vacant. As many as 26 per cent posts of sanitation worker are vacant. While MC officers say filling posts is the prerogative of the government, the Mayor said she wrote several times to fill the posts, but nothing was done.

Lack of dustbins, toilets

Another area of concern is the lack of dustbins in public places and toilets in the city. The public toilets that the survey team visited were also not well maintained while every market does not have a public toilet, which was a requirement of the survey. This also meant that garbage was scattered in public areas, which once again led to a weak performance.

Incomplete documentation

While 17 of the 20 wards were open defecation-free at the time of the survey, Panchkula scored a zero in the category. The reason for this was that proper documentation was not done and it led to Panchkula not scoring marks for activities that it had undertaken. It has come to light that the survey team asked the MC to submit documents even months after the survey, but it was not done. While there were multiple reasons for the low ranking, these were the areas where Panchkula lost a bulk of its marks.

One of the best in state

We are one of the best in the state in terms of cleanliness. The MC has a large area under it and that may have led to overall low grading. We will now focus on outskirts, open defecation and garbage processing. — Lalit Siwach, MC Commissioner 

Will improve with time

We could have done better if there was more staff and I wrote multiple letters for the same. However, it is not a bad performance and we will improve with time. — Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, Mayor

Citizens should be involved

There is a lot of work to be done and everyone needs to contribute to it. The citizens need to be involved. — Gian Chand Gupta, MLA

Poor documentation

We lost a lot of marks due to poor documentation. Marking does not just consider what works are done. If the documentation for the works is not done, marks are lost. — OP Sihag, nodal officer and former executive officer, MC

Garbage collection weak

Garbage collection and disposal is weak and the Mayor just wants to fight instead of doing any work. —CB Goel, Councillor

Source: The Tribune