It may be Uttarakhand’s provincial capital but Dehradun is so filthy that it ranks among the bottom in a list of 29 state capitals of India assessed for cleanliness. It stands at a lowly 26.
The nationwide survey conducted by the Union ministry of urban development as part of the Swachh Bharat campaign published on Saturday reveals that Dehradun stood 360th among 476 cities surveyed.
Mysore city in Karnataka has topped the Swachh Bharat rankings while Karnataka’s state capital Bengaluru emerged as the cleanest state capital in India. Damoh in Madhya Pradesh came at the bottom of the city rankings.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat campaign last year with an aim to drive cities towards becoming clean.
Commissioned in 2014-15, the survey was conducted in 476 cities having population above one lakh.
Besides, Dehradun, five other cities in Uttarakhand were surveyed under the programme.
According to a government note, the rankings were based on parameters like the extent of open defecation, solid waste management, waste water treatment, drinking water quality, and surface water quality of water bodies among others.
The Swachh Bharat Mission is being implemented in urban areas with a focus on the construction of toilets in households and public areas to eradicate open defecation and ensure door-to-door collection and disposal of municipal solid waste. This explains the use of the two primary parameters in the survey.
However, the ranking for Dehradun has not come as a surprise for those associated with the sanitation work in state capital.
Making a Difference by Being the Difference (MAD) — an initiative by a group of Dehradun-based youngsters that works on environment, poverty and to increase civic consciousness, says that it was high time the government agencies woke on the issues of cleanliness.
“Our team collects 600-1,500kg of garbage every week. We have been knocking the doors of the government to Corporation authorities but to no anvil,” Abhijay Negi, the founder of the group, told Hindustan Times.
Dehradun generates more than 300mt of garbage every day while the Municipal Corporation manages to dispose only 200mt, leaving behind more than 3,000mt of untreated garbage every month that spills over on to the city roads.
The ruling Congress is quick in training guns on the civic body with the party state vice president Suryakant Dhasmana who unsuccessfully contested for the Mayor’s election saying cleanliness of capital has more to do with effective management.
“There is no plan to free Dehradun from waterlogging. Tourists are greeted with heaps of garbage. Responsible persons neither have the vision nor the intention to clean the city,” he said.