Commissioner Pratibha Pal: What makes Indore best-performing city
ECONOMY & POLICY

Commissioner Pratibha Pal: What makes Indore best-performing city

In the first-ever Municipal Performance Index (MPI) ranking by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Indore emerged as the best performing municipality among those with a population of over a million....
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In the first-ever Municipal Performance Index (MPI) ranking by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Indore emerged as the best performing municipality among those with a population of over a million. The MPI examined the sectoral performance of 111 municipalities across five verticals that comprised 20 sectors and 100 indicators in totality. The five verticals under MPI were Services, Finance, Policy, Technology, and Governance. In the Swachh Survekshan 2020 awards, Indore was adjudged the cleanest city for the fourth consecutive year. In an exclusive interview with CW, Pratibha Pal, Municipal Commissioner, Indore, helps us decode the reasons behind this consistent excellence. ____________ Indian Institute of Management (IIM) - Indore and Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) have collaborated to help other cities replicate the cleanliness model of Indore city. So, what is Indore's Swachhata Model? And what efforts have been taken towards effective waste management? The core of Indore’s Swachhata Model is community participation. In Indore, we have 5.5 lakh households. Every month, the city generates about 1,100 metric tonne of waste. To prevent dumping of waste in different places, vehicles visit these households door to door daily to collect waste. Routes for waste collection for all the households (collection of waste at source) have been planned. These vehicles have six compartments to collect different types of waste: dry, wet, plastic, domestic hazardous, sanitary and e-waste. Indore is the only city as of now that segregates six different kinds of waste at the household level itself. The entire process is monitored through a vehicle tracking and monitoring system (VTMS). To ensure that vehicles reach their destination for waste collection and there is no route deviation, GPS receivers have been installed in these vehicles. The helps in meticulous segregation and easy processing of the waste at a later stage. All our wet waste gets converted into compost; all our dry waste is further recycled. We are also trying to facilitate the collection of construction and demolition (C&D) waste from the premises of retail (non-bulk) occasional generators through transfer stations. Provision has been made for using material from C&D waste of municipal construction activities for non-structural concrete, paving blocks, lower layers of road pavements and inner colony roads. Additionally, Indore’s Swachhata Model comprises upgraded processing facilities, upgraded public amenities such as community toilets, public toilets and urinals and adherence to the concept of the 3Rs (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle). Now, IMC has collaborated with IIM Indore to help us with the skill and technology upgradation of the Swachhata Model and to find a way to replicate this model for other cities. The collaboration aims to strengthen the working of IMC and recreate the model of India’s cleanest city across different cities. It will cover multiple domains, from solid waste management to IT modernisation at the corporation. With regard to the pandemic what is the current situation? And what infrastructure development measures have been taken to ensure a smooth vaccination process? Health comes under the mandate of the administration. COVID-19 vaccination drives are being taken care of by the district administration, but we are providing some infra assistance and help with building vaccination camps. What is the city's overall budget and the budget specific to the smart city? Where is the money coming from? The total budget allocation for IMC is Rs 51,000 crore. The budget allocation for smart city development for five years was Rs 1,000 crore. Rs 500 crore came from the Government of India and the balance from the state government. Apart from this, the smart city is also taking up various land monetisation projects for revenue generation with the help of facilities developed by the smart city. Do you have any specific plans to raise finances for the city’s infrastructure development in future? We are planning a green masala bond for solar energy. A plan is being worked out to run the entire water supply and pumping system of IMC on solar energy. The DPR for this is completed; solar consultation is in the process. This year, a green masala bond of Rs 400-500 crore will be issued to raise funds for this project. Please tell us about upcoming infrastructure projects in the city and any DPRs will be floated in future for construction projects. The development of four major roads worth Rs 170 crore will be taken up to decongest traffic in the entire city. Smart road development worth Rs 150 crore, parking projects worth Rs 30-35 crore and some heritage conservation projects are going to be taken up this year. Indore is highly dependent on Narmada water. Is there any alternate water system the city is planning to work on? This time, we are introducing a rainwater harvesting drive. Currently, we have 35,000 households that are into the rainwater harvesting system. We plan to increase this number and bring a lot more households under the umbrella of rainwater harvesting. IMC has planned bylaws for this where houses above 1,500 sq ft will be mandatorily required to take up rainwater harvesting to take a step towards a water-sufficient and green Indore. Fifty per cent of the total wastewater generated is also being treated and utilised in various activities such as agriculture, irrigation and sanitation. This is further helping us become water-sufficient. If there is one key lesson other cities can learn from Indore, what would it be? Various stakeholders have worked constantly to create awareness and enhance public participation. Swachhata has now become Indore’s brand and public awareness and community participation have kept the city’s position consistent. We always try to take the feedback of citizens and cater to their demands after due consideration. For example, people have been requesting some changes to improve traffic congestion. That’s why the metro was introduced, four major roads will be introduced and eight flyovers will be constructed. - Praharshi Saxena

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