Despite resident participation, SDMC's WhatsApp initiative has not able to clean filthy areas.
South Delhi Municipal Corporation's new initiative to keep Dwarka clean through WhatsApp has fallen on its face.
The sub-city is still strewn with garbage. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) had erected several boards across Dwarka urging people to send images of areas in need of cleaning to their WhatsApp number.
However, despite sending photographs, there has been no change in any areas mentioned. Two such places pointed out by residents are the areas in front of the forthcoming football stadium in Sector 20, and between Om Apartments and Radhika Apartments in Sector 14. Garbage was being burnt here instead of being cleared, residents said.
Moreover, even the area around the SDMC boards were full of filth. This despite regular supervision by SDMC officials.
"I had sent some photos of a location that required immediate cleaning," said Pankaj Dhingra, a resident of Abhiyan Apartments, Sector 12, and a member of Dwarka Forum. "Three days later, the area is just as it was. If the corporation wants its initiative to be taken seriously, it needs to build trust first. If people see prompt action being taken on the problems identified by them, residents will participate more. Another thing is that the boards have been installed in a few marketplaces and not in residential areas, where they are most required."
Several residents said they were not even aware of such an initiative.
"I am disappointed with the cleaning in Dwarka," said Ravi Jaitely, general secretary of Senior Citizens Association and a resident of Harsukh Apartments. "The corporation claims that the problem areas being identified by residents have been attended to, but I have not seen any change. They should take this seriously; it is their duty."
"They have to address the real problem," said SK Gupta, the managing committee secretary of New Arohi Apartments in Sector 12. "Their system is weak and that needs to be strengthened. When sweepers clear an area, they just collect all the garbage in one spot, where it sits for days without any attempt being made to clean it. Heaps of leaves are burnt in the open, as the corporation never clears them. People will only use their WhatsApp initiative if they see something happening on the ground."
One of the SDMC officials from the sanitary department, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We are clearing 160 tonnes of garbage from dhalaos in Dwarka every day. We are also taking prompt action on the problem areas identified by residents via WhatsApp."