Three cities of Madhya Pradesh have been listed among the worst 10 in the Swachh Bharat ranking released on Saturday, putting a question mark over the state government's sanitation drive.
Damoh and Bhind of MP have been listed as the worst and second worst among 476 cities in the country that were surveyed in 2014-15 under an initiative of the Union ministry of urban development, a Press Information Bureau (PIB) release stated. Another city that earned the dubious honour from the state is Neemuch, ranked 470th.
The rankings were released a day after cabinet secretary PK Sinha lauded chief secretary Anthony de Sa in a video conference for progress in implementation of a drive to construct toilets in government schools.
The PIB release stated that the Union ministry of urban development conducted the survey to assess the present conditions of the cities to achieve target of Swachh Bharat Mission.
In MP, 32 cities were surveyed on several parameters of sanitation including solid waste management, open defecation, waste water treatment, drinking water quality, surface water quality of water bodies, mortality rate due to waterborne diseases, storm water drainage system and others. The rankings are based on a total of 42 marks, including 20 for open defecation indicators and 22 for solid waste management indicators.
Among capital cities of India, Bhopal stood at 16th place, while in overall ranking Bhopal came at 106th place. Ujjain and Gwalior, two other cities of MP, were ranked 355th and 400th respectively.
MP's department of urban development and environment principal secretary Malay Shrivastava said that he didn't have any information about the ranking.
"I can't comment on ranking, but there is a need for lot of work to be done in sanitation. Now, we have clubbed Mukhyamantri Swachhta Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission, the result will come in near future," he added. Admitting to the poor sanitation level in the state, urban development minister for state Lal Singh Arya said, "I am sure in the coming year, we will improve our ranking."