For a clean city

Keeping a city clean is a tough task and a lot of it depend on the demographics, affluence and the effective law enforcement agencies. Muscat is clean by most standards of urban planners, but it can get even better  

VINOD NAIR –
MUSCAT, march 10 –

As per a list available from SCGH.Com, cleanest cities in the world are Calgary (Canada), Honolulu (US), Helsinki (Finland), Ottawa (Canada), Minneapolis (US), Olso (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Zurich (Switzerland).
Muscat is not in this global list but it certainly has all ingredients to make it there. The population growth is at manageable levels, strong will among the authorities to keep the city at its traditional best along with the development of modern civic facilities.
Muscat is certainly among the greenest cities in the Arab world, but that is no enough. We need to be among the best in the world, feel the residents of the city.
“Keeping a city or the place where we spend our life is also the responsibility of the authorities. That seems to be lacking because we tend to expect everything from the government,” said Andrews, residing in the capital for over a decade.
“We expect the civic cleaning staff to pick up the chocolate wraps, water bottles and food leftovers from the park, something which we can do ourselves. The place will be immediately clean for the next family visiting the place,” said Maryam.
“People generally scold children for keeping home untidy but hardly say anything when they litter around despite having a garbage bin in the vicinity,” she said.
The first thing that strikes a visitor when he or she lands in a new country is the cleanliness and friendliness of its people. Keeping a city clean is a tough task and a lot of it depend on the demographics, affluence and the effective law enforcement agencies. Muscat is clean by most standards of urban planners, but it can get even better.
The most important element is the mindset of the people. “This has nothing to do with the city’s governing authority is cash rich or not. I have seen some of the richest cities in the Western world falling short of public hygiene standards and at the same time a relatively less affluent city with high population density maintaining a decent level of cleanliness,” said Sunder Balakrishnan who keeps visiting different countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia as a marketing executive.
Coming to Muscat, it is one of the naturally picturesque cities in the Middle East with friendliest of the people one may ever find. But still in recent time, there has been a heavy strain on the efforts to keep the city clean.
According to a visiting urban planning expert, “It will be always challenging for a city like Muscat. The city is home to a large number of expatriates who come from places that do not score well on the civic matters.
Muscat Municipality has been making efforts to help the city retain its tag as one of the cleanest capitals of the world. Weather permissible, the arterial city roads are carpeted on the sides with colourful flowers and waste bins at most strategic places, but that is not enough. Because if we can keep our homes clean, then certainly our city too.