The IFR might be officially over, but it has left a pleasant aftertaste; one of a cleaner, greener and aesthetically spruced up city. Hosting an International Fleet Review with dozens of VIPs and VVIPs descending on our Bay City, especially post the wreckage caused by Cyclone Hudhud, was perhaps one of the biggest moral boosters for the city and the finest extravaganza to show the world what Visakhapatnam is capable of. Albeit, it was only parts of the mega city that benefitted from the largesse of the administration, nevertheless, the whole affair instilled a welcoming sense of pride in each and every citizen. The most visible parts of Vizag got new footpaths, street lights, repainted signboards, handily placed dustbins, landscaping and paintings on walls; the city was tidied up to be clean, green and beautiful as a city that intends to become a global city should be. The IFR was a challenge initiated by the Eastern Naval Command that every administrative department affiliated to Visakhapatnam, including the ENC itself admirably rose up to. It was a mammoth task, completed in record time. Taking the sense of victory a notch higher was the recently announced Swachh Bharat rankings. The year couldn’t have begun on a better note for Vizag – the CII Summit, the IFR, followed by the honour of garnering a spot in the first list of Smart Cities and finally rising up the rankings to be awarded the status of being the 5th cleanest city in the country.
With so much good happening, the question that now arises on many lips is whether we can sustain, further improve upon and continue to showcase this beautiful pleasant image of Vizag? Buoyed by the success of the IFR, the city administrative bodies have expressed their intention to continue maintaining the city’s cleanliness, working along the same lines as it did for IFR. But, without every citizen participating in this effort, the results would bottle to nothing. So, can we mesmerise the many tourists and foreigners that descend upon the Bay City with neatness, good amenities and well-kept greenery? Can we hope that every Vizagite pitch in by not littering or dumping garbage next to the dustbin rather than into it, not spitting on the walls, not urinating in public, following basic traffic rules and decorum; in short, just being better and a bit responsible citizens?
The power as they say, lies with the people. It lies in you and in me to keep our city clean, take the responsibility of our neighbourhood or street and hopefully by the next rankings we would have reached the No. 1 slot. True, that is a challenge, and whether we’re up to it or not, only time will tell.