Why Civic Bodies Must Connect With Citizens To Make Clean India A Success
Every time a new report mentions “official estimates show”, most of us begin to believe the actual figures would be quite different. If a news report says 20 people died in a bomb explosion according to data provided by the concerned ministry, we assume the death toll to be over 50, at least. We would rather trust unofficial sources when it comes to finding out the true story. We did find the city rankings of the Central government's Swachh Survekshan-2016, but we would be happier if a people's platform came up and presented us with a more real picture.
So, here goes. A survey by LocalCircles, a public engagement platform, has revealed that national capital Delhi, “Progressive” Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — both of these states carry the BIMARU tag — are among the worst-performing states as far as cleanliness is concerned. Among the top-performing states are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
Through 14 national polls, LocalCircles covered 60 cities and 19 states in its survey with an aim to show the progress of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, the Swachh Bharat Mission, in past two years.
The best part of the findings is that 40 per cent of the people who took the poll believe civic sense has improved in the past two years. On the other hand, Citizens do feel that civic bodies have failed to connect with the public to make the mission a success.
According to the survey, 85 per cent of the respondents said “it must be mandatory for every municipality to engage with citizens, both online and offline, to qualify for any further Swachh Bharat funds”.
Only 18 per cent of people polled are of the view that their municipalities are successfully driving cleanliness through their civic sense awareness initiatives. While a majority of the respondent were of the view that the role of municipalities and how they connect with the public is going to be crucial for the success of the mission.
Millennium City Gurgaon recently became the fourth city to launch Swachh Map, a sanitation app that lets the citizens click pictures any unclean site around them and the municipal body of the city will ensure the view is clean within 24 hours. Initiatives such as these could be one way to connect with the public. However, a lot goes offline, too, and civic bodies must get ready to come up with innovative ways to come clean.