Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: How Swachh is Jamshedpur

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Jamshedpur: With a national team of surveyors expected to arrive any time to check and rank cities and metros in the National Swachhta Mission, the command areas of JNAC and JUSCO are seeing regular cleanliness drives as are the ones under Mango Municipal Corporation and its Jugsalai counterpart.

One can unhesitatingly state that the beloved city of Jamshedpur continues to be an example of green coexisting with industries and a well planned township with all civic amenities available at beck and call of citizens and tourists. The credit for all this goes to JNAC and JUSCO.

The dedication of these two authorities can well be gauged by the regular cleanliness drives being undertaken to provide livable environs but there are stinkers, some overwhelming that defy civic senses.

There are spots where vats provided for garbage disposal at various city points are overflowing due to non-removal over a stipulated period of time thereby providing favourite hunting grounds for scavengers comprising dogs, cows and human urchins who dig for recyclable material to earn one measly chapatti at the end of a day’s hunt along with the animals.

People do spot JUSCO pickup mini trucks that pick up the loaded vats; sweepers and other cleaning crew provided by JNAC and JUSCO doing the rounds almost day and night in residential areas and market places in a dedicated effort to keep the city clean. But, are we, the citizens cooperating with the two authorities? Where does our civic concern stand?

Even today, in a very well informed society, people are found dumping household wastes here, there and everywhere except in the vats provided at more than comfortable distances. How do you deal with these elements that sleep with open eyes?

The market places in Sakchi, Bistupur, Kadma and Sonari are regularly visited by JNAC and JUSCO teams to serve reminders that a clean environment is a common cause for which Green and Blue garbage buckets have been provided to shopkeepers for dry and wet discards; JUSCO has provided the same to households in almost all residential areas.

Yet, the garbage vats continue to overflow in spite of sincere efforts to remove and replace them on time. Where do we citizens come in? Is it not our concern to ensure that these vats, when almost full, should be notified of to the authorities concerned vide enlisted phone calls? After all, we are social ‘higher animals’ where one minor step to prove our social concern will lead to a million steps towards providing hygienic living.

The basic problem is that all the urgings and threats and penalties are of temporary reckoning. Shopkeepers in market places and householders in residential areas follow the social messages for a few moments or a few days after which it is back to ‘who cares’ mode of daily living.

Madhav Singh, a resident of Kasidih put it aptly when he said, “You tell people of cleanliness and move ahead. The very next moment, the people who have been ‘educated’ are back to their old, unethical ways…and thus it goes on.”

Soma Sen, a homemaker at Sitaramdera said that the habit of maintaining cleanliness is an ingrained habit learnt from elders and carried forward to the social milieu.

Another disconcerting fact is people urinating in places that are semi desolate or in alleys or for that matter any place where others see and look away. Toilets have been provided at convenient spots but they are seldom used. But, on the other side, there are certain public toilets whose doors remain locked. There are some others where water supply is not provided. These conditions have to be looked into by the command area authorities concerned.

However, at the end of the day, apart from the Swachhta rankings, it is the people who have to refocus on their conscience and cooperate with the cleanliness drive to maintain the city noted for its green canvas around an industrial setup that ensures mental and physical joy so rare in other cities.

Citizens, through generations, have vouched that there is no cleaner place than the land of a visionary whose concern was the people’s wellbeing and welfare. Let us be clean and keep the city clean. Ranking will not be a problem.

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