Bengaluru: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is supposed to have decided to do away with the Swacch Bharat ranking system and come up with star ratings (from 1 to 7), for which 11 parameters should be fulfilled. Is Bengaluru ready for even a single star?
One of the most important parameters to get even that single star rating is that no visible solid waste should be present across all water bodies under the jurisdiction of the urban local body (ULB). The other parameter speaks about the implementation of plastic ban which is a big challenge since Bengaluru produces 350-400 metric tonnes of plastic waste every day.
Despite starting at rank 7 last year, Bengaluru slipped to 210 in Swacch Bharat rankings this year, revealing the slump the city has undergone.
Mr Ram Prasad, co-founder, Friends of Lake, felt that the laid-down protocols will inculcate a competitive spirit among ward councilors who are authorised to give stars to their wards which are then verified by a third party.
“The protocols will start in 2019 and we have to gear up by February, so that the city can fare well. Each ward can compete with the other since the councilors have to declare the rating. All the documentation related to the parameters should be ready by November,” he said.
City-based environmentalists believe that the star rating will improve tourism destinations since tourism is an important part of the Swacch Bharat campaign. Though a state-wide evaluation of the impact of Swacch Bharat rankings on tourism has not been done, according to the World Economic Forum, India moved up by 12 places in tourism in April 2017.
Prasad said, “The star ratings can bring up the marker effect on state’s tourism since tourists want to visit places that have been declared defecation free. Health is another important aspect that they look forward to too.”
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