Mysuru: “There were two main reasons for us to lose the cleanest city tag this time and they were the poor response of the citizens feedback and lagging behind in construction of toilets,” said Mayor M.J. Ravikumar.
Addressing the media here, after arriving from New Delhi early in the morning, at the old Council Hall in the Mysuru City Corporation, he said, last time there were only 73 cities with a population of ten lakh that were vying for the cleanest city tag. However, this time there were 436 cities with some having even a population of one lakh who were in contention and hence the competition had become that much tougher.
Displaying the trophy (with the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and two kids) and the certificate, Ravikumar pointed out that while last year the MCC had secured 1749 points, this time it had got 1743.36 points and the difference was just five marks. “Our documentation was really good as we scored 833.37 points out of 900 (93 percent). In the spot observation when the Swachh Survekshan team had come we really did well and are placed second in the country,” he said.
In the survey of the city, out of 500 points earmarked, Mysuru scored 460.25 (92.05 pc). Where the city really lagged is in the construction of the toilets. The aim was to construct 425 individual toilets and because a follow up was not done by the earlier officials we could not meet the target, said Ravikumar.
The other drawback was in the Swachhata App wherein at least 30,000 citizens should have downloaded the app only 2,000 responded with the feedback. There were technical reasons for this and this matter was brought to the notice of the Ministry of Urban Development, he said.
However, sounding a note of optimism, Ravikumar said that a detailed project report of Rs. 55 crore to set up a 200 metric ton waste management plant in Rayanakere, another 150 metric ton plant in Kesare has been prepared which will be submitted to the State Government. Once these two plants come up then the pressure on the plant in Vidyaranyapuram will ease, he said and added that there were also plans to introduce a scientifically designed bioremediation waste management process.
He alleged that one of the reasons for Mysuru being relegated to fifth place was because of non-cooperation of the Centre which focused on other Indian cities.
Corporation Commissioner G. Jagadeesha said that if there was a detailed project report done on Swachhata by the earlier team then we could have performed better.
The City needs 500 pourakarmikas who have to work in three shifts to clean the city. Vishakapatnam, which is placed third this time, had been following this system, he added.
Deputy Mayor Rathna Lakshman, MCC Health Standing Committee Chairman Mahadevappa, Finance Committee Chairman K.V. Mallesh and others were present at the media conference.