Thanks to the Intelligent Garbage Monitoring System implemented by the Indian city of Hyderabad, residents can now check online to see if their neighborhood trash bin has been emptied on time.
The audience applauded when Dr. Sameer Sharma, Municipal Commissioner of Hyderabad, spoke about the garbage monitoring system during a presentation at Columbia University on September 14. Sharma spoke at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as part of the Global Mayors Forum program.
According to the SIPA’s website:
“SIPA’s Global Mayors Forum showcases the leaders of the world’s most dynamic cities and the School’s conviction that cities are the world’s most important laboratories for creative policymaking.”
Sharma outlined many of his projects that are intended to make Hyderabad India’s best-governed city. He shed light on Hyderabad’s history, the challenges faced by the city, and on development policies.
Hyderabad is the sixth largest city in India and is the state capital of Andhra Pradesh. The city is also known as “Cyberabad” for its ever-growing information technology center. “Hyderabad has become a world city,” Sharma said.
Hyderabad has developed drastically in the last 20 years. “Globalization is one single variable that [has significantly impacted Hyderabad],” said Sharma. Some of his priorities include water, public health, waste and traffic management.
He suggested that a full accountability system has made the city highly efficient when it comes to providing services. Now anyone can find out why their neighborhood trash bins have not been emptied and cleaned on time.
He discussed how India’s culture of low law enforcement and unionization posed a challenge to productive city administration.
Sharma said that exerting control over employees is difficult in India due to widespread unionization. His 360-degree accountability method, which takes advantage of information technology to monitor municipal services, is designed to combat worker productivity issues.
According to Sharma, when trash is collected, each bin is photographed with a camera phone. The photo is then uploaded to the website in real-time where it is monitored by an administrator in the municipality office. When work is not completed on time, the contractor responsible for picking up the trash is fined.
He said during his presentation that one of the key advantages of the policy is that it can be adapted to fit the needs of any municipality.
Now, how do we get this in New York City?