In an effort to improve the city’s waste management and Swachh Survekshan rankings for 2021, Dehradun based SDC Foundation conducted a week-long urban social audit of waste dumping points. The audit team identified 12 waste dumping points on the five major routes of the city – Premnagar to Ballupur, Ballupur to Clock Tower, Ballupur to Transport Nagar, Clock Tower to Rajpur Road and ISBT to Rispana Pul. 
Dumping of unsegregated waste; emanation of foul smell, flies, mosquitoes; scavenging and littering by stray animals like dogs and cows and engagement of sanitation staff without protective equipment even during the ongoing pandemic were some of the key findings of the audit. The audit also revealed that food waste remained the most found type of waste followed by multi-layer plastic waste, cloth waste, light plasticlike polythene, packaging plastic and glass waste. Also, citizens and nearby businesses including shops, complexes were also found to be dumping their waste directly in these points. 
The audit highlighted that eliminating the dumping points will help the city do well in the recently launched Garbage Free Cities Star Rating Protocols. The protocol guides cities in achieving high standards of waste management and on the basis of the same, star ratings – upto seven stars maximum – are awarded to the city. At present, Dehradun has no star rating. 
A major positive highlight of the audit was that Dehradun Municipal Corporation was engaged in daily cleaning of the dumping points along with spraying of bleaching powder and regular sweeping to keep them clean and hygienic. 
Improving the basis – door to door collection and source segregation; creation of modern and mechanized infrastructure for managing waste; facilitating community and individual level composting systems; installing a network of transfer stations; conducting waste audits of bulk waste generators and setting up dry waste collection centers for ensuring sustainable management of plastic waste are some of the key recommendations, says the report. The report makes these suggestions after learning best practices being implemented in some of the cleanest cities of India like Indore, Ambikapur, Chandigarh, Pune and others. 
“We are taking steps in this direction. We have already eliminated dumping points at Tagore Villa, Raja Road and near the district court road. This issue is at the top of our priority. I request people to be patient and cooperate with us.  We are working on war footing to improve the door-to-door collection mechanism in the city and I am confident that by the start of next year we will be making the city completely dump points free”, said Sunil Uniyal Gama, Mayor Dehradun to SDC. Uniyal also stated that the city will soon get two separate garbage collection vans for streamlining the door to door collection process. 
“The objective of these urban social audits is to identify the gaps existing with respect to urban issues and the way we are addressing them. If we are able to eliminate these dumping points situated roadside, it will help immensely in improving the city’s ranking in Swachh Survekshan as well as make the city more hygienic, especially during the COVID-19 times. The audit will surely help DMC which is already taking numerous steps to make the city sustainable in terms of waste management”, said Anoop Nautiyal, Founder, SDC Foundation. He further said that SDC was ready to assist DMC and other civic agencies in improving the waste management practices in the city.
The audit was conducted by Rishabh Shrivastava, Pyare Lal, Praveen Upreti and Purnima Mishra of SDC Foundation. 
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