A good Swachh ranking brought cheer to the civic body even as several projects were delayed by the pandemic
The year gone by was a mixed bag for the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation, which saw several of its projects getting stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but still managing to score well in the Swachh Survekshan rankings and climbing back into the top-10 cleanest cities in India.
Resuming its activities during the last quarter of the year, the civic body aims to complete a number of the stalled projects by January or February this year, GVMC Commissioner G. Srijana said. The civic chief added that they would put in all efforts to improve their ranking further in the coming survey.
Ms. Srijana was speaking at the annual press conference of the GVMC here on Thursday.
Addressing reporters, the Commissioner said that works on major projects like the Waste to Energy Plant, VMRDA Park, Multi-Level Car Parking (MLCP) project and a water recycling project — mostly Smart City projects — are in the final stages and are expected to start functioning in the next couple of months.
According to GVMC officials, in the year 2020-21, development works worth ₹110 crore were taken up by the Engineering department. Altogether 61 Smart City works worth ₹940 crore were proposed out of which projects worth ₹83 crore were completed in 2020.
Sewerage (UGD) works were initiated at an outlay of ₹943 crore. With a budget of ₹150 crore, drinking water supply works were improved in the north and south regions of the city. For taking up 56 works under the horticulture department, ₹24 crore were sanctioned. Under AMRUT, water supply works worth ₹282 crore were initiated.
Public health was also kept in mind and awareness campaigns were organised on a large scale regarding seasonal diseases. The cases of vector-borne diseases have gradually come down this year. She also said that the GVMC was able to deliver 23 various welfare schemes of the State government under the ‘Navaratnalu’ scheme to citizens successfully.
“In 2021, apart from providing amenities like roads, drains and drinking water supply, we will also provide good public spaces for citizens. The Miyawaki urban forests project has already been initiated. Similarly, astro gardens and herbal plantations will be taken up at various places,” she said.
Ms. Srijana said that in 2020, the town planning department of the civic body has acted against illegal encroachments. She said that the drives would continue in 2021 aslo. The town planning department which has earned a revenue of ₹71.12 crore this year, has also demolished 2,817 illegal encroachments in various areas of the city.
Public cooperation sought
Seeking public cooperation for the coming survey, the Commissioner said that the GVMC is leaving no stone unturned to improve its ranking in the coming survey. The civic body has self-declared a seven-star rating in the coming survey and is also aiming for ‘Water Plus’ in the certification. Home composting, segregation of waste and plastic recycling initiatives were improved upon.
The Commissioner also lauded the efforts of ward secretariat staff when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak.
Chief City Planner R.J. Vidyullatha, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMoH) K.S.L.G. Sastry and Additional Commissioner V. Sanyasi Rao were present.