The by Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) helped Lucknow secure the 12th position out of 47 cities with a population of over 10 lakh assessed in the Swachh Survey for 2020. The rankings were done on four parameters – direct observation, citizen feedback, service level progress and open defecation-free (ODF) certification. Each carried 1,500 marks. Last year, these categories had 1,250 points each with a total 5,000.
This year, Lucknow secured 78.8 per cent (4,728/6,000) points as compared to 55 per cent (2,746/5,000) in 2019. The turning point, many in LMC believe, was the intervention of courts and notices by the panel formed by the National Green Tribunal to assess the situation of solid waste management in the State.
In May 2019, a consumer court had imposed monetary penalty on LMC officers for poor services. LMC had moved the high court to get a stay. The HC provided relief on penalty, but directed it to present an action plan on how LMC plans to improve the city’s garbage management. This made the civic body swing into action. Several measures were introduced such as mechanized street sweeping, GIS enabled smart watches to monitor sanitary workers and vehicle trackers to keep tab on garbage collection trucks.
Besides, installation of smart garbage dumpsters and compactors as well as revival of the Shivri solid waste treatment plant was done. These efforts were reflected in this year’s scores. The maximum improvement was in the “service-level progress” parameter. Last year, LMC got 20 per cent in this category, while this year, the score surged to 72 per cent.
This led to improvement in the “direct observation” parameter in which a third-party inspected the services and cleanliness on the ground. As the situation was better on the ground, LMC got 99 per cent points in this category this year in comparison to 72 per cent points last year.
“The two parameters are connected. Technology improved services that were visible on the ground. Hence, marks increased in both the service level progress and direct observation,” said former municipal commissioner Indramani Tripathi, under whose supervision all these changes were done.