Noida's search for the Swachh tag robs cleaners of their weekly off-days

NOIDA: Swachh Survekshan 2019 seems to have finally made Noida act on the long-pending sanitation problems of the city.

On Saturday, the Noida Authority increased the working hours of its sanitation staff and cancelled their weekly offs to ensure that no garbage is littered on roads ahead of the cleanliness survey this month. This will be the first time the city is assessed for Swachh Survekshan.

“CEO Alok Tandon has ordered the public health department to ensure garbage collection in the city from twice a day daily to three or more times. Till January 31, all sanitation workers, including those on contract, have been ordered to put in 16 hours instead of eight daily. Their off-days have also been cancelled,” OSD Rajesh Kumar Singh told TOI.

Tandon has also ordered the public health department to hire more sanitation workers and deploy more resources such as tractor trolleys and dumpers, if needed, to ensure a clean city.

“Though a vat has been placed on very road in the city and over 1,500 staffers are deployed for sanitation work currently, any shortage in machinery or manpower will be addressed immediately,” he said.

Not only resources, GPRS-linked feedback system will also be installed at public toilets with green, yellow and red buttons — for clean, ok and dirty options to be punched by users. “The aim is to ensure cleanliness at public toilets,” the OSD said.

Accountability has also been fixed on the sanitation staff this time. “If garbage is found on a road — be it a residential sector or an industrial sector — then the sanitation worker in-charge of that area will be held responsible,” he added.

Residents have welcomed the move, with the Federation of Noida Residents Welfare Associations (FONRWA) pledging to play its role in the cleanliness survey.

“We have urged all sector RWAs to ensure all-round cleanliness in residential sectors so as to ensure that Noida ranks top in Swachh Survekshan 2019. A team from the RWA federation will survey all sectors from January 26 to 31 and give awards to top 10 sectors which turn out to be cleanest,” said NP Singh, president, FONRWA.