Swachh Sarvekshan results in: things looking bleak for Bengaluru and Bengal

By Prarthana Mitra

As per the recently published Swachh Sarvekshan 2018 report, Indore emerged as India’s cleanest city for the second consecutive year. It was followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded both cities located in Madhya Pradesh, calling upon the culture of public cooperation to prevail on other cities and towns in tackling land and water pollution.

Jharkhand is the cleanest state, followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the report found. Tripura is at the bottom of the list, followed by Puducherry, Nagaland, and West Bengal which has 19 of the 25 dirtiest cities on the list.

How clean is your city?

Appreciating Indore’s tactical and united approach to maintaining cleanliness unique and inspiring, the government on 23rd June conferred the top prize on the central Indian city.

Most metropolitans have cleaned up after themselves this year, which reflects in improved scores for New Delhi, Navi Mumbai, and Chennai which has managed to break into the top 100 for the first time. Pune (10), Ahmedabad (12), Greater Mumbai (18), Hyderabad (27), South Delhi (32) all occupy ranks within the 50 cleanest cities in India. New Delhi Municipal Council was declared the cleanest small city, while Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada was India’s cleanest big city, and Mysuru the cleanest medium city.

Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad recorded the biggest improvement rising from rank 356 to 32 this year. According to First Post, the best city in innovation and best practices tag went to Nagpur, and the best city in solid waste management to Navi Mumbai, both in Maharashtra.

On the other end of the spectrum

Nineteen of the 25 dirtiest cities in the country were found to be in West Bengal, as per the survey. This included Darjeeling, Siliguri, Serampore, Madhyamgram, North Barrackpore, and Bankura. Kolkata is notably missing from the top 50 list that features most metros, and ranked among them for the last time in the 2009-10 survey. West Bengal had not participated in the surveys in 2016 and 2017, according to the Hindustan Times.

Also registering low scores in numerous cleanliness and sanitation indicators is Bengaluru, which dropped further to 216 this year.

Dr Sandhya M N, nodal officer for Swachh Bharat Survekshan spoke to the New Indian Express saying, “The two areas where the city lost marks were that it had not been declared to be open defecation-free, and the number of toilets were not as per the guidelines.”

What does Swachh Bharat survey?

The survey which was conducted by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs between 4th January and 10th March this year, engaged 2,700 assessors across 485 cities housing around 40 crore citizens. The centre’s cleanliness drive also deployed 53,236 manual scavengers across India, claims AICCTU, four times more than last year’s number.

Conducted annually, the survey ranks cities on the basis of their performance across six parameters that include collection, management and disposal of municipal solid waste, sanitation-related progress, and innovative practices adopted by cities. The initiative aims to foster a spirit of competition among the cities, driving them to achieve global standards of urban cleanliness and to offer a comprehensive assessment of their sanitation status.

Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.