Aligarh Municipal Corporation (AMC) has launched a public awareness camp through school children, NGOs and others. In this, the Municipal Corporation officials visit every cultural and social programme and try to educate people about the new Swachhta app, says Shivpujan Yadav, Joint Municipal Commissioner, Aligarh Municipal Corporation, in conversation with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN).
Having been inducted into the Smart Cities Mission, what is the next move of Aligarh?
We are trying to meet the criteria set up by the Government of India. Drainage, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Open Defecation Free (ODF) schemes come under it. We are working on all these things simultaneously. We want to complete everything within the timeframe. We also want Aligarh to be ranked higher in the ‘Swachhta Sarvekshan’ (cleanliness survey).
How are you going to implement the Smart City projects in Aligarh?
We are already working on multiple projects. There are certain issues like waste management, transportation, and water management etc. We are doing door-to-door collection of waste and have been turning it into compost with the help of A2Z company. They are collecting waste and recycling it. We are trying to make the waste portable. We have installed dustbins all over the city. For the transportation, we will soon make Detailed Project Report and then work accordingly. We are way ahead in solving the waste management problem in the city. About 80 per cent of the waste is being being recycled.
How did Aligarh make it into the Smart Cities Mission?
We made it to the list because all the criteria set by the Central Government was met by us. We are trying to grab spot in top 10 in Government’s cleanliness survey.
How are you going to integrate the citizen participation in Smart City projects?
We have already started an awareness camp through school students, NGOs etc. We gather a crowd in the morning and try to educate them on various projects. The officials of Municipal Corporation go to every cultural and social programme and try to educate people about the new swachhta app. People are being made aware about the Swachhta Sarvekshan (or, cleanliness survey) and how their participation is important.
What are the challenges in implementing Smart City projects in Aligarh?
We need to work at the basic level on many projects. This time public’s feedback percentage has gone up while making DPRs of various projects. A city cannot me made smart till its citizens become smart. Putting dustbins all over the city is not the key to cleanliness.
Citizens should be made aware that they have to throw garbage in the dustbins and before that dry and wet waste should be segregated by them, only then a city can become clean. If a dustbin is not there, people should keep their waste outside their house so that waste collection van can collect it in time.
How are you making Aligarh digital?
The Government agencies are making people aware about the benefits of digitisation every day. We have made revenue collection online online. Birth and death certificate are also issued online now and many other such important services will be made online in Aligarh.
Do you think events like the Aligarh Smart City Summit, help local agencies?
Events like these are necessary because collective experience is shared on a single platform. Through learning from others, we can rectify our mistakes. It is a two way communication channel. Smart City summits, organised by Elets Technomedia, are a major contributor to the development of Smart Cities all over the country.