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'Micro-level planning implemented in cleaning Surat'

Submitted by india editor on October 12, 2015

-Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor, Surat Municipal Corporation

The city of Surat has long been known as the diamond polishing hub of the world, but there are other facets that have led the city to shine - including being one of the cleanest cities in the country.

Under the aegis of Niranjan Zanzmera, Mayor, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC), elected to the office in June 2013, Surat is all set to become a smart city with Microsoft's CityNext project.

Working towards fulfilling his vision on setting a benchmark for other cities in the country on applying IT solutions to help empower citizens and address cities' biggest challenges to fuel economic growth, Zanzmera shares the various development plans being undertaken in the city, and what makes the city a hotspot for opportunities and growth.

What have been the Corporation's top tips to keep the city clean?

SMC has made a lot of effort in the form of various initiatives in keeping the city clean. The efforts put in by SMC have been recognised at the national and international levels as well.

For better cleanliness across the city, its seven zones were further subdivided into over 80 sanitary wards. A typical ward consists of a sanitary inspector, sanitary sub-inspectors and mukadams (supervisors).

Micro-level planning has been introduced to ensure equitable distribution of all resources - manpower, machinery and finance - among the wards. Sweepers are posted round-the-clock at nuisance spots, and such locations are invariably cleaned at least twice a day.

Public-Private Partnership and outsourcing of various sanitary activities is also initiated to improve waste collection efficiency along with street cleaning. Here are the highlights of the activities:

  • Daily waste collection of over 1,550 metric tonne.
  • Night brushing and scraping on around 200 routes.
  • Waste collection from over 12 lakh households through door-to-door collection, container lifting and other modes of collection.
  • All transfer stations converted to closed body elevated platform, which enables direct transfer of solid waste from primary collection vehicles to secondary vehicles through compactor system.
  • Sanitary landfill site under utilisation.
  • Waste-to-energy project of 1,000 tpd capacity under execution and 400 tpd compost plant under operation.
  • Centralised biomedical waste collection and disposal.
  • Acceptance of solid waste from villages and towns in the city´s vicinity on a chargeable basis.
  • A format for reporting daily activities for solid waste management as well as other public health engineering-related activities prepared and adopted to monitor daily progress.
  • Daily review of activity taken at ward and zone levels and a weekly review undertaken at the headquarters.

What efforts has the Corporation made to sustain the city's growth?

The city is witnessing all-round growth. To balance development and spread the population evenly, Surat has the ring road, middle ring road and upcoming outer ring road.

SMC is also coming up with an extensive public transport system backed by a bus rapid transport system (BRTS) to connect different parts of the city. The corporation has put in the best of infrastructure and civic practices to improve the life of citizens.

As Surat is one of the fastest growing cities of India, SMC needs to play the role of enabler and catalyst to sustain growth and meet the expectations and aspirations of citizens. Successful implementation of the government of India's flagship programmes like Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Make in India and Smart City will enable Surat to become a smart city.

The Corporation also outsources waste to power...

SMC has undertaken various initiatives for the use of renewable energy, which includes solid waste to power and liquid waste to power generation.

Liquid waste to power (biogas power plant): SMC is the first Urban Local Body (ULB) to start a biogas-based power plant (sewage gas to electricity generation); a sewage treatment plant (STP) of 0.5 MW capacity was set up at Anjana in 2003. Three more sewage gas-based power plants each of 1 MW capacity have been set up. With the setting up of these plants, the total energy savings is about 6,326,440 kWh with total annual energy saving till October 2014 of around 4.28 crore units.

Solid waste to power: Solid waste to power project of capacity 1,000 tdp is under execution with a 400 tdp plant already operational. This plant generates compost and fuel pellets. Apart from waste to power, SMC has also taken initiatives to generate power from solar and wind energy.

How about drainage, sewerage and street lighting?

SMC has taken up a number of capital projects focused on providing the best services and infrastructure to citizens. SMC has covered 94 per cent of the population under the piped water network and will cover 100 per cent of the population by the end of 2015.

It provides 150 litre per capita per day (lpcd) water adhering to drinking water standard IS 10500:1991, second edition. It has acquired ISO 9001:2008 certification for implementing the quality management system at all waterworks and has implemented the SCADA system at water treatment plants.

SMC has prepared the master plan for 24 x 7 water supply with metering to the new area added in the city limit expansion. It has five waterworks (two work in progress) with 1,268 mld capacity, 30 water distribution stations, and over 3,100 km of transmission and distribution system through which 980 mld water is provided to over 16 lakh households.

Further, SMC has taken a lead in the use of renewable energy sources. It has executed projects for generation of electricity from liquid waste, solid waste, solar energy and wind energy.

SMC was the first in India to commission a 0.5 MW, liquid waste to power plant in 2003; today, 3.5 MW power is generated from liquid waste. It was also the first ULB to install a 3-MW windmill in 2010; today 17.7 MW of power is generated from wind energy.

What's more, SMC generates 850 kW of power from solar energy and is planning an additional 3.5 MW in FY2015-16. In fact, it plans to meet all its energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2019-20.

What is the annual amount budgeted for city development?

For FY2015-16, a provision of Rs 21,800 crore has been made for capital projects. The Centre and state governments contribute by allocation of funds in the form of different grants.

Click Here to read the full interview in Construction World.

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