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Ahmedabad city has been growing in terms of infrastructure, urban transport, social/ medical improvements, cleanliness drives and slum rehabilitation. Information about the programmes of the City Corporation is made available to the masses through latest communication technology.

Under JNNURM, projects worth 128 crores have been sanctioned. These projects will be executed in the next two years. We are starting new dental & medical colleges and the hospitals which are supporting these colleges have also been modernised. The four Municipal hospitals together have a capacity of almost 2500 beds. By the end of August we will start a new trauma centre as well.

AMC will be renovating almost 250 municipal schools in the state. The maintenance of the schools has a scope for new industries to provide material and cleaning services. Recently, we have renovated the Kankaria lake front. It has only the periphery of 2.5km, but it has become three kilometres now. On Sundays, 50,000 people visit this public place; on a normal day, it is around 10-15,000 people. The toy train imported from the UK is a big attraction for the visitors. We have outsourced the maintenance of this area. Another development underway is at lake Naroda which can hold around 2000-3000 visitors. Here again we will be outsourcing the cleaning activities.

The construction of the river front at Sabarmati is one of the major initiatives of the Gujarat government. Once the river side is developed by 2010, other real estate activities will begin. Along with this is the ambitious slum rehabilitation programme of the government.

Under the Bus Rapid Transport System, 82 bus stops will be constructed. In the first phase alone, around 26 bus stops will come up at a cost of not less than 40 lakhs. Maintaining these bus stations will be a challenge for us.

When it comes to mechanised cleaning of the roads, it is not very easy in India as our roads are not of uniform design or construction standards. Our footpaths are not uniform; every city is different but machines are of uniform size. So we need to address this issue. Though we have two sweeping machines, we are also trying to optimise our manpower utilisation.

This year, AMC’s projects for storm-water drains will cover around 237km of drains. We hope, this monsoon will be seeing less problems of flooding.

For waste management, door-to-door collection has been entrusted to Resident Welfare Associations. The individual collectors get paid300 per month per house. And the garbage goes to the community bins. Now we want garbage from houses to go straight to the dumping sites. We don’t mind bearing the expenses in the beginning but the garbage shouldn’t come on the road. We’ve already implemented this in one zone i.e. from the doorstep to dumping site. We want to implement this in other zones as well. The total garbage collected everyday at our dumping site is 2300 tonnes. So the next step is segregation. For this, we are tying up with two companies which will start operation by the end of this year. We’ve only one dumping site and even that is located 25km away from the city. However, things have changed over the last five years; the city is much cleaner now.

It is always better to have a mix of private agencies and the Corporation departments working on the cleaning of the city. Complete outsourcing is not practical. During the 2006 floods, the contractor had the responsibility of lifting the carcasses of animals. But, seeing the massiveness of the work, the contractor ran away. We had to send our own team from Ahmedabad to Surat to clear the mess. Again, in Surat, the contractor disappeared as the dumping grounds got filled with huge amount garbage coming in everyday. So, we’d to go there, hire a new contractor and look out for alternative dumping site. It doubles the task.

We are improving our systems for solid waste management. AMC will spend 128 crores in the coming years on sweepers, community bins and compactors. Eventually, we want to become a binless city.

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