Swachh survey: AMC distributes free milk bottles to get feedback from citizens

RITU SHARMA

Till January 19, people were seen thronging the counters near the gate of the flower show in large numbers, while on Monday, the staff at the entrance of the Riverfront Park were seen calling out to the visitors, showing them free milk bottles.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), which is hosting the eighth edition of the ‘Flower Show 2020’, has been distributing free flavoured milk to visitors who were ready to take part in Swachh Survekshan 2020 cleanliness survey by sharing their mobile numbers and One-Time Password (OTP) sent on it.

The ticketed flower show, inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on January 4, was to end on Sunday but got a two-day extension, recording a footfall of over 7 lakh and an earning of nearly Rs 2 crore. At the entry, AMC representatives were seen distributing free flavoured milk bottles of Amul

AMC distributes free milk bottles to get feedback from citizens to visitors against the OTP, to help Ahmedabad’s rank in the survey.

This would then be used for “citizens’ feedback” as part of the exercise for the survey by the Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, which claims the initiative to be the “largest cleanliness survey in the world” on its website. The survey ranks cities on seven different parameters for cleanliness.

However, at the flower show venue, only a few were seen giving their feedback, with most of them leaving after sharing the data detail and taking the bottle of milk. The AMC is aiming to beat the 2019 rank and get to the top position in citizens’ participation category that carries 25 per cent marks in the survey. With the free milk initiative, the corporation also targets the new category of award for “highest citizens’ participation” in the category of cities with more than 10 lakh population.

In 2019 survey, citizens’ feedback had a weightage of 1250 marks, which has been increased to 1500 out of total 6000 marks this year. The deadline for the survey is January 31.

Pressure is mounting on Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city, to do better than Surat, which tops in the state as per the updated ranking on the MoHUA website on Monday. The AMC hired nearly 35 personnel to be stationed at the flower show with the task of recording the maximum number of feedback from the visitors. Rajkot is number 2 and Ahmedabad was in third position, followed only by Vadodara, in the list of Gujarat cities on the live ranking score. Gujarat stood at position 12.

Deputy municipal commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, Mukesh Gadhvi, said, “This (distribution of free flavoured milk) has been done as a token of thanks to the citizens for sharing their feedback.” The extended show saw the venue shifting slightly from the original ground on the Sabarmati River front to the adjoining Riverfront Park.

The staff at the flower show revealed that nearly 15,000 milk bottles were distributed among city residents. “Initially, people would not respond and hesitated to share their details. But this shot up when we started offering milk bottles. On Sunday alone, we distributed nearly 3,000 milk bottles,” said one of the staff members on condition of anonymity.

Till January 19, people were seen thronging the counters near the gate of the flower show in large numbers, while on Monday, the staff at the entrance of the Riverfront Park were seen calling out to the visitors, showing them free milk bottles.

“This time, there is a separate award for the city that will have the highest number of citizens’ participation and we are trying our best for a higher ranking. For this, in addition to other measures, we are asking visitors at the flower show to give their feedback,” said Harshad Rai Solanki, AMC nodal officer for Swachh Survekshan 2020.

AMC sources also revealed that with a positive feedback to the “offer”, a similar exercise will be replicated to other public places like malls, education institutes and residential societies.

Among the overall national level rankings of 2019, AMC was ranked sixth, while in the overall ranking of 100 ULBs with a population of more than 1 lakh, it was chosen as India’s “cleanest big city”.