The corporate city of Gurugram is grappling with waste and sanitation issues. The Swachh Sarvekshan 2018 survey, which ranked Gurugram at 105th position out of the total 400, highlighted the lack of efficient solid waste management practices in the city. To improve the scenario, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has deployed information technology-based solutions. For instance, the corporation introduced a mobile application called Swachh Map in 2016 to address sanitation-related grievances within 48 hours of being reported. To expedite grievance redressal, MCG rolled out the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs’ (MoHUA) mobile application, Swachhata, in September 2018. With this, Gurugram has become the fourth city in Haryana, besides Hisar, Yamunanagar and Chandigarh, to launch this smart mobile application for sanitation. Developed by IChangeMyCity, the mobile solution has been launched with the aim of efficiently resolving citizen complaints and ensuring cleanliness in the city.
MoHUA’s Swachhata application
The Swachhata-MoHUA mobile application will replace Swachh Map, which was run by the MCG itself. It can be downloaded on smartphones from Google play store, and users of the app can select their language of preference. The application creates personal profiles of users based on their mobile numbers.
Swachhata offers several features to enable sanitation services at the click of a button. There are five tabs – Home, Events, New Complaint, Existing Complaint and Notifications – with each catering to specific functions. The Home tab displays all the sanitation complaints posted by citizens along with the current status while the Events tab lists out information on sanitation campaigns such as door-to-door collection taking place around the city along with the schedule and location. Users can either volunteer for the event or share the event online to spread awareness. The New and Complaint tabs allow users to register fresh complaints and check the status of existing ones. The New tab enables users to post location pictures to file waste and sanitation complaints. The location gets automatically captured by the app, which has complaint categories like garbage dump, dead animal and public toilet cleaning. If pictures are not available, users can mention the site of the complaint. Based on the location, a sanitary worker, inspector/engineer is assigned the job of resolving the issue. Regular updates on the status of the complaint are sent to users, which can then be monitored through the Notifications tab. After the issue is resolved, a push notification with the “Resolved” image is sent to users by the inspector concerned. A recent addition to the features allows users to edit or delete complaints.
The Swachhata app is helping MCG to ensure faster grievance redressal, within 12 hours of being reported as against 48 hours under the Swachh Map application. Besides resolving waste and sanitation issues, the application allows complaints regarding erratic power, water supply in community toilets, etc. to be posted. Additionally, users can edit complaints and post new ones without the need for actual presence at the site. The complaint once posted is first received by MoHUA and then redirected to the local body, thereby ensuring accountability in the discharge of duties. In case the user is dissatisfied with the resolution, complaints can be reopened. Also, Swachhata enables users to “vote up” on any particular issue and get regular notifications.
The right step forward
MCG aims to feature among the top 50 clean cities in the ongoing Swachh Sarvekshan 2019 survey. The introduction of the Swachhata mobile application is the right step in this direction. Points are given based on the performance of the corporation in dealing with civic issues and deducted (from assessment parameters) if a complaint remains unresolved even after 12 hours. The application also ensures efficient monitoring of the state of cleanliness, as there is a direct interface between MoHUA and the residents through this application.