CLinsti: Beyond Being Green

Edited by Jai Santhoshi.S

Designed by Niharika

Since its launch in 2014, the Swacch Bharat mission has played a pivotal role in inculcating a sense of personal responsibility among citizens at large regarding the cleanliness of their surroundings. The cooperation of all the members of a community is essential to bring about any sort of positive and permanent change and this rings true when it comes to matters regarding public sanitation. 

In this regard, CLinsti, an app developed by a CFI student team, aims to ensure a better environment not just for the residents of the institute but for the rich wildlife that call it home.

Owzone (a waste management project run by self-help groups at IIT Madras), the Engineering Unit(EU) and the Stores & Purchase sections work together for effective solid waste management on campus. CLinsti aids them by providing an avenue for campus residents to directly report any grievances regarding solid waste disposal to them. It aims at improving the workflow of solid waste management, creating a feedback loop to improve complaint redressal and creating a data-driven approach to waste management inside the institute. Using the app, the campus community can post requests regarding any solid waste they’ve noticed on campus and they will be updated on the status of their request in real-time at every stage as the Engineering Unit acts upon it.

The idea for the app was first proposed by the Dean of Planning, Prof.Ligy Philip. The institute has seen a lot of construction-related activities over the past year and CLinsti was seen as a timely solution to the accumulation of construction debris in addition to regular solid waste.

Currently, the app allows users to add requests along with a description, location (either entered manually or via GPS location), location zone, type of waste and images to support them. They can see the status of their request in real time and are notified when the work is in progress or completed. To add a measure of accountability to the whole process, they can also grade the work done by the Engineering Unit and leave any feedback regarding their request. The app also has a section for general feedback regarding the app and a separate menu where a users can see a list of all the complaints they have lodged.

CLinsti presently receives upto 10 requests per day and around 15-20 requests per week on average. There have been over 450 total requests posted to date and around 400 have been resolved. The amount of time taken for the resolution of a request depends on the waste material involved. If waste material like bottles, food waste, furniture are reported, then it is expected to be resolved in a day or 2 days. It takes longer to sort out requests concerning construction debris, equipment and furniture.

Engineering Unit members are able to check the list of active requests and update their status through a special admin website. Timestamps of different stages of work progress are generated based on status updates by engineering unit members who internally verify the amount of work that has been completed. 

Speaking about the cooperation between the student team and the Engineering Unit during the app’s development phase, CFI head Dhanveerraj said, “We had regular meetings with engineering unit members to understand the problems faced by them and their requirements. Their active involvement and interest helped us build the app in a very short time.”

About the team

A number of people were involved in the project, directly or indirectly. Prof. Ligy Philip(Dean of Planning) proposed the project and helped with the finances and implementation. Mr. Narayana Perumal, Asst. Exe Engineer(Engineering Unit), helped provide the project members with the required information and logistics. CLinsti is an interdisciplinary project under the Webops Club and Team Sahaay. Dhanveerraj(Ex-Head of Team Sahaay, (2020-2021) and Current CFI Head) and Yogitha(Ex-Head of Team Sahaay, (2020-2021)) guided the project members to ensure work was completed in a timely manner and provided regular feedback for the betterment of the product and better user experience. Deva Krishnan (Ex-Head of CFI WebOps Club) helped the project members with technical details by providing tutorials and clarifying doubts. Janith M S, Gokulkrishnan A V, Vaibhav Sathawane, Kalash Jain, and V Vamsi Krishna Varma were the five project members directly involved in making the app. They worked on different aspects of the project as listed below:

  1. Backend Developers: Janith M S, Gokulkrishnan A V, Vaibhav Sathawane
  2. Mobile App Developers(Android and iOS): Vaibhav Sathawane, Kalash Jain, V Vamsi Krishna Varma
  3. Website Developers: Vaibhav Sathawane, Janith M S
  4. Server Maintenance and Hosting: Janith M S

Future Updates

The team plans to make further upgrades to the app to make it more convenient for everyone involved.

Listed below are some of the updates planned in the future:

  • Real-time notifications of the status update of the request posted by the user.
  • Planning to integrate this app for effective work management by engineering unit members.
  • Adding Google authentication to login, for better user experience.

Maintaining the cleanliness and overall sanitation of a large area like the IIT Madras campus is difficult but cooperation from all involved parties definitely helps make it easier.  Nothing can quite match the experience of riding your cycle down the roads of insti with the wind in your hair , surrounded by majestic blackbucks and lush green trees on either side. It sounds so simple and mundane, yet every student knows how much they missed it over the past two years and would vouch for it being an experience in itself. Our campus is it’s own unique and beautiful ecosystem and the onus is on us to help preserve it in whatever way we can. In an age when technology is developing faster than ever before, CLinsti is an initiative that attempts to leverage it for the betterment of the community. By directly connecting residents to cleaners, it has significantly optimized the cleaning process and made it more transparent than ever before. Every request made on the app goes a long way towards achieving the ultimate goal of keeping the campus litter free and a collective effort makes this goal seem very achievable. The app has over 200 downloads to date of which the majority are staff and campus residents. Download the CLinsti app for free from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store to help the Engineering Unit identify and clean solid waste in a timely manner. The app only takes up 7.83 MB and has a very intuitive interface. Let’s join hands to conserve the natural beauty of our campus! 

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