Swachh Bharat Mission is imperative to the transformation of India’s urban landscape. Leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT), this unique initiative is bringing in efficiency, better supervision and building new synergies with citizens to help achieve the targets set under the ambitious initiative, says Praveen Prakash, Mission Director of Swachh Bharat Mission and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development in conversation with Shivani Tyagi of Elets News Network (ENN).
Can you share how Swachh Bharat and Smart City Mission are being integrated to change the urban landscape of the country?
Cleanliness is the pre-requisite to becoming a smart city. These cities have to set an example for others to follow.
On 25th June, we will complete two years of the Smart City Mission and our focus will be on the following areas:
First, to implement 100% biometric attendance system for employees of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 20 cities selected in the first round of the Smart City Mission. All the information will be put in the public domain.
“We have collaborated with Google Maps to provide toilet locating service in Delhi-NCR region through our app. There is a provision for providing feedback as well.”
Second, by 25th June we will be tracking the performance of every garbage lifting truck online. At least three months’ data will be available digitally. Garbage collector trucks will be monitored every day.
Third, monitoring system will be in place for all the roads of 20 smart cities selected in the first phase where sweeping of the roads will be monitored remotely. Other things include extensive anti-larva operation against mosquito related diseases, proper water connection for all the toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, processing plants converting garbage to energy will be set up in various smart cities.
“Our mission is on track and we will be able to deliver good results to our citizens. We are positive that by 2019 all our goals will be met.”
How technology is being leveraged to achieve the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission?
We are using a biometric attendance system and GPS tracking system in Swachh Bharat Mission. We have also developed the latest 2.0 web technology and an app where people can take photographs of garbage and send them directly to civic bodies. Authorities are required to respond to the complaints in a time-bound manner. We have also evolved an online happiness index of citizens where voting is done by citizens themselves. We are tagging all the toilets we have constructed since 2009 for online tracking. We have collaborated with Google Maps to provide toilet locating service in Delhi-NCR region through our app. There is a provision for providing feedback as well.
What are the basic challenges the government is facing for implementing the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan?
We have done an analysis of various groups of people for this mission. It is easy to change the behaviour of women and children than men in the age group of 35-55 years. Keeping this in mind, we are creating our awareness programmes.
What is the future of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in India?
In just a short span of two-and-a-half year, we have completed 50% of our journey. Our mission is on track and we will be able to deliver good results to our citizens. We are positive that by 2019 all our goals will be met.