Under the leadership of Mr. Abhijit Bangar, Navi Mumbai was ranked 3rd in Swachh Survekshan 2020. This feat was achieved by making additional efforts rather than follow the traditional ways where the focus was usually put only on waste management. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) decided to focus on the beautification of the city, on efforts focused towards Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities and optimum citizen engagement along with other processes like collection and segregation of waste, ban on single-use plastic, etc.
NMMC organised regular interactive IEC activities such as street plays, performances by Swachh Ambassador, flash mobs, and cleanliness drives. They also initiated a campaign with the #NischayKelaNumberPahila, which translates “we have decided to be No.1”. This initiative motived citizens to be more involved and helped the department gain support.
Though the above-mentioned steps are incredibly important, the most noticeable steps taken by the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation were perhaps the ones for the beautification of the city. These beautification projects have been carried out across the city at traffic signals, crossroads, water bodies, bridges and underpasses. Artefacts have been placed in public places. And LED traffic lights are being installed to improve the aesthetics in all 111 Wards in the city.
TECHNOLOGY AND BEHAVIOUR CHANGE GO HAND-IN-HAND
Both technology and behavioural change together play a crucial role in the sanitation system. Including technology interventions in the entire sanitation chain, from waste generation to collection, transportation to treatment, and finally the safe use of this treated material, is essential. “However, technology shall not do us any good if the behavioural change is not tackled”, said Mr. Bangar. He believes that behavioural change is a critical component for improving sanitation as once the impact of ones behaviour on the environment and public health is understood by citizens, it forms the basis for a sustainable sanitation plan.
Hence, in order to increase citizen awareness and community, NMMC included a few extra elements in their IEC activities like conducting drives, competitions, use of social media as well as increased visibility through installations, paintings and posters at all public places.