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30 Mar 2020, Edition - 1721, Monday

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Coimbatore

How CSR projects can help create model wards in city

Umaima Shafiq

Swachch Bharat ambassadors are aiming to create model wards in the city through CSR-driven initiatives. A ‘clean city’ project leader appeals to more businesses to come forward to support the effort.

Nearly 100 Swachch Bharat ambassadors in Coimbatore are seeking support from businesses for the ‘clean city’ projects that they are implementing in collaboration with the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC).

P Shanti Priya, who is leading the ‘city cleaning and beautification’ initiative, appealed to more corporate houses and businesses to come forward and help the effort through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.

“We launched this project three months ago and our aim is to make model wards in Coimbatore. We have conducted meetings of Swachch Bharat ambassadors, and instead of just taking pictures of civic problems we have shared the number of the official concerned so that the issue can be resolved,” Shanti Priya, who is the wife of corporation commissioner Sravankumar, told The Covai Post.

She said the CCMC has been very supportive of their initiative, and now they have a CSR funding, which is the fund to which a company contributes 2 per cent of its annual income to be spent on public welfare schemes.

“We want those funds to be utilised for government projects specified by CCMC.”

These projects cover nearly 25 initiatives like planting saplings, supplying home compost bins, shredders, incinerators, protective gear like gloves, caps, masks and raincoats for cleaning staff, building traffic islands, channel and lake cleaning, wall paintings, solid waste management machines, bandicoot robot for sewer cleaning, repairing and maintaining pavements, footpaths, medians and parks, installing CCTV cameras, providing trucks for garbage collection, drain cover slabs and adopting wards.

“We have had good response from businesses but would like have more. NGOs, of course, will voluntarily do such programmes, but we want CSR to play a role,” Shanti Priya said.

Commenting on how these efforts have paid off, especially in the area of waste recycling, she said: “On October 2, five model wards were declared in Coimbatore. Private sponsors gave Tata Ace trucks to be distributed in these wards for garbage collection. This has streamlined segregation and collection. We collect wet waste in these trucks and push carts every day which are sent to be made into vermi-compost, while the dry waste is collected twice a week and sent for recycling. The medical waste from hospitals in these wards are collected by private-owned Technotherm Company in colour coded bags and disposed and recycled according to government norms.”

She said sanitary incinerators are important for the clean city project, “but no corporate house has yet come forward to sponsor us”.

She said that these machines are available in hospitals, schools and corporate and private offices, with the CCMC having only one Bandicoot robot sponsored from Kerala.

“It is a bit costly but it will be of real help if anybody is willing to sponsor.”

She said some private donors have sponsored push carts, three have taken up traffic island building and one has promised to sponsor overcoats for sanitary helpers.

“I advise everybody to get permission from CCMC for quicker execution and sustainability otherwise problems like collecting waste, getting traffic licence and other formalities can delay their work.

“We Swachch Bharat ambassadors are trying to build a bridge between the CCMC and business houses driven by CSR and NGOs,” Shanti Priya said.

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