Monday, August 10, 2015

A quick reaction to Swachch Bharat Mission ranking for Sambalpur City!

Unless you clean Mahanadi, you can't have clean cities and villages on its banks -

Sambalpur, my city, is at the 9th position from Bottom in the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan's listing of cleanliness in cities. Alert citizens and friends are feeling ashamed of it. Me too. In fact a dearest friend Bimal Pandia wrote about this just now and I commented the following. Sharing for your information because someone that post did not show up in my wall somehow:

We are already ashamed and the recent jaundice epidemic is a testimony to that. While the SBM ranking has many faults, what it calls for is a renewed vision to look into cleanliness. It at least rakes up a debate at the moment yet again. However, it needs to be seen where it ends up. We invest in doubling ring roads and in river front projects rather than correcting our water pipes, drainage and sewerage systems; we dump fly ash in our ponds and river side; we plan to throw our garbage in crop fields and in village limits. While each city has it's own sets of issues and problems it has also to agree that it has to solve it's problems within its own limits. Cities cannot be clean at the cost of Rivers, Water Bodies, Crop Fields, Forests and Villages. SBM rank is just a set of overarching checklist which does not address most of these issues and can therefore not solve the problems to the extent we all want to. Anyways, good that people are reminded yet again from the top. Because, our system is not tuned to listening to warnings and suggestions from its own people and is comfortable only with organisations that praises it.

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Convenor, Combat Climate Change Network, India
Mahanadi River Waterkeeper (Member, Global Waterkeeper Alliance)

Mob: +91-9437050103

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