Since 2017, Indore, the largest city in Madhya Pradesh and the center of business and education in central India, has consistently been named the cleanest city in the country. In addition to maintaining its position, Indore consistently improves its own performance. The city is transforming itself into a more sustainable, green, and eco-friendly place through innovative initiatives.
The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has been working to make the city cleaner for the past few years. The IMC is putting a special emphasis on waste management at the source after declaring the entire city Open Defecation Free (ODF) and landfill-free. According to IMC, its main objective is to make garbage recycling, reuse, and disposal faster and more organised. The nation’s cleanest city now uses a six-bin system for residential and business waste segregation at the source, with bins for dry, wet, plastic, e-waste, domestic sanitary waste, and domestic hazardous trash.
The Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation in the nation’s cities and towns. The survey was introduced by the central government in 2016, giving the project the necessary impetus. The Indore city’s municipal commissioner at the time, Manish Singh, saw it as a challenge to put Indore back on track. Singh made the decision to prioritize improving the internal sanitation system first.
“We developed a fleet of vans for door-to-door rubbish pickup. The municipal workshop, where damaged older vehicles are repaired, has been improved”, Singh told ThePrint. “We strengthened our safai karamchari squad and increased their capability.”
The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) currently employs 11,000 safai workers and has a fleet of 1,500 vehicles, some of which are owned by private companies.
A few months ago, some Indore locals launched a social media campaign against a woman who threw a Starbucks Coffee cup—the coffee company prints customers’ names on their cups—onto one of the city’s main streets. The goal was to persuade her to stop littering. The campaign worked as intended; a few days later, the woman appeared at the Starbucks location and apologised.
In this just one example, the community in the city has come together to support the changes by the administration. The people of the city are making the city a green city, and ensuring that Indore remains clean.
Carrot Stick Approach
Nothing is more effective than a carrot-and-stick approach. This is something that the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) can attest to. IMC recognises individuals who show remarkable initiative in addressing garbage in their community. The IMC offers them a one-on-one meeting with the Mayor or the Corporation Commissioner. Litterbugs also invite a big “no.” For people who install bulk trash convertors to compost organic waste, a 5–10% property tax credit is also available. The campaign to increase participation doesn’t end here.
The mayor and municipal commissioner regularly hold contests and give out prizes for creative solutions. The driver of the vehicle that gathers the most separately disposed of rubbish is also recognised.
Sewage Treatment Plants
The bio-CNG plant on wet waste collected from the city serves as a showcase for the IMC’s waste disposal procedure. It is the biggest such facility in Asia, according to city officials.
On February 19 of current year, the 550 MT per day plant was officially opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Devguradia trenching area.
It can generate 10 tonnes of organic manure and 17,000 to 18,000 kg of bio-CNG. Up to 150 city buses utilise Bio-CNG as their fuel because it is five times more affordable than regular CNG. In its most recent fiscal year, the IMC made Rs 14.45 crores from waste disposal, including Rs 8.5 crores from the sale of carbon credits internationally and Rs 2.52 crores in annual premiums from a private company for sending garbage to the bio-CNG industry.
Clearly, Indore’s case has shown that with unique solutions, the Swachh Bharat dream is achievable.
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