Suggested Ways to Keep Cities of Bihar Clean

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I am sure you may have seen the Year 2020 Survey (swachhsurvekshan2020.org) that came out recently. Such are the dubious accolades that Bihar collects most of the time. Such accolades undoubtedly help dish out the denigrated look and treatment in states where Biharis work hard in low paying jobs.

We all have faced this filth when we go and travel to many parts of Bihar and India. Seeing the filth, to encounter and dealing with the rotten smell and ugly stomach wrenching sights are difficult to put in words; it can only be experienced. Visiting from the States and other Western Cities, where cleanliness is a natural is very difficult to explain to our kids travelling and visiting with us.

To experience the filth in Patna, Gaya, Buxar, Biharshariff, Bhagalpur, Parsa bazar is tough to stomach after 73 years of Independence.

Complaining to those who work at Nagarpalikas or to those holding high positions in administration becomes meaningless. Either they haven't seen anything better, cannot comprehend that it can be better than this or have learned to live with it in the same vein as "sab chalta hai saheb and I have bigger personal or official problems than this to deal with".

One can live cleanly despite being poor, living in overcrowded quarters or other innumerable problems. I guess inside their homes (as Holy Books teach us) or inside business stores they practice cleanliness but when it comes to where to dump the garbage, it is always the neighbor's yard, public roads, or where no one can see, complain or object.

I think it can be incentivised. To parrot being a poor country, state, city or municipality is the old hackneyed story, not fit or relevant in today's India. As a matter of fact, being poor, at least for an individual, can be made into an opportunity.

The municipalities of these dirtiest cities can make garbage collection a monetary incentive for an individual. For example, the municipalities can put a monetary value to each bag of collected and deposited garbage/trash.

A token worth RS 10, 20 or 50 can be given to the person depositing the trash (not only the recyclable plastic but any form of trash particularly the smelly food and waste trash). This way the garbage goes to the nearest properly maintained collection centers, the collection becomes an incentive and becomes operational. The administration with the help of NGOs (and I'm sure there are several NGOs in every city for this too) can do it. Sure there are pitfalls in it as when it comes to money, corruption is bound to creep in. But it can still be a valid, workable method to keep cities clean.

I am sure such monetary incentive can clean the cities in no time and it will keep them clean too!

"Saaf Raho Aur Paise Lao" should be the slogan for every municipality.

One can also use a combination of this incentive and another where the citizens are informed that a Garbage Truck will come once, twice or three times a week in your neighborhood where you can bring your trash.

In narrow streets the municipality employee (with a whistle to alert everyone) will bring the trash can on a wheeled cart where the residents and business or stores can deposit their trash.


Rabindra K. Sinha, Leander, Texas, USA

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