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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The need for keeping Chennai clean !! need for better conservancy..

In Chennai as in  most other cities -  cleanliness and conservancy is a major issue.  There are no public toilets in most places and in places where there is one, it is not usable by the public.  Elsewhere, it is a  legal requirement for public toilets to be provided with the basic toilet amenities, namely toilet paper, liquid soap, hand dryer (or paper towels) and litter bin.

The Chennai Corporation is the civic body governing the metropolis of Chennai.  It looks after the removal of solid waste – more than 3200 MT of garbage is collected and removed from the city.  Door to door collection of garbage is practiced in most Zones. Years back, a contract was given to a Private player – Onyx and Chennai residents were thrilled to see modern equipments like composter, compacter, gloved  and uniformed work force – seemingly good but only lasted for some time.  Then the conservancy contract was given to Neel Metal Fanalca and presently there are complaints at various places that cleaning is not up to the mark.  It is now reported in papers that the  State government has permitted the Chennai Corporation to terminate the conservancy contract with Neel Metal Fanalca (NMF) in parts of the city on December 31, 2011.  As of now, the company is in charge of garbage clearance in Pulianthope (Zone III), Ice House (Zone VI), Kodambakkam (Zone VIII) and Adyar (Zone V). The government has also given nod for floating bids for carrying out a seven-year-long contract, which would cover garbage clearance in the four zones, beginning from January 1, 2012.

Great value is often associated with a clean city. A clean city is a strong reflection of our moral and civic values. They do not just come by chance. They require much responsibility and dedication to maintain.

When it comes to cleanliness and remaining litter- free, comparisons are often drawn only to Singapore, the South east Asian State  off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula.  Singapore is a highly urbanized  country.  Singapore has a well-deserved reputation as a clean and attractive city, in large part because of its litter-free streets and pavements.  National Environment Agency [NEA]  plays an important role in this regard, as it oversees the cleansing of public areas in Singapore.  It’s three pronged approach for clean environment includes – Public cleansing, Public education and strict Enforcement.  The cleansing of public roads and pavements is largely carried out by contractors engaged by the NEA. NEA officers conduct regular audits to ensure that the cleansing works are carried out satisfactorily and according to schedule.  NEA, together with the contractors have mechanised the cleansing of public roads to enhance the effectiveness of public cleansing operations. This includes the use of mechanical road sweepers and ride-on mechanical pavement sweepers.

In 2002, NEA started an initiative -  The 'Singapore, Litter-Free' campaign. In tune with that  NEA has been working in partnership with event organizers and owners of land and premises (including parks, petrol kiosks and schools) to engage the community to take ownership of their litter and the environment.  The 'Singapore, Litter-Free' Programme for Public Outdoor Events is a new initiative to engage everyone attending large-scale events such as parties, parades and rallies to take ownership of their litter and not leave any of their unwanted items behind for someone else to clear.

In a litter-free event, the event organizer would encourage participants and spectators alike to make a conscious effort to take away all their rubbish with them and deposit the rubbish in the litterbins provided.  Event organizers are encouraged to implement  many initiatives including provision of adequate and sufficient facilities to aid the proper disposal of unwanted items; and
Make/ display messages to communicate, promote, and remind the audience/ participants to take ownership of their unwanted items and make the event 'litter-free'.

The comparisons may be endless and aspirations sky-high.  But it is high time that WE did something to make India clean and provide better hygienic conditions.  The Government, individuals like us, Agencies, NGOs and everybody have a role to play in.

Everywhere in newspapers and on meetings, it is easy to speak on the lacunae and the requirements.  There is need for building and maintaining more Public convenience in many places, especially in all schools.


Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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