The Capital is one of the dirtiest Indian cities with rampant open defecation and poor waste management facilities, a government survey said on Saturday, indicating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat mission might not have had a big impact in Delhi.
The nationwide survey by the urban development ministry found areas under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi — where 97% of the city’s 16.7 million population lives — fared miserably on these two key sanitation parameters with a rank of 397.
In contrast, Delhi Cantonment — whose upkeep is taken care of by army authorities — and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) — home to top politicians and bureaucrats — are miles ahead with rankings of 14 and 15, respectively.
The survey covered 476 cities and municipalities in 31 states and union territories, each with a population of over 100,000 people.
“The huge gap in sanitation facilities between the MCD and the NDMC, Delhi Cantonment areas is not only because the latter handle just a minuscule portion of the Capital’s population. They are well maintained on account of VIP inhabitants,” said a government official.
The survey that came 10 months after Modi wielded the broom in Delhi to promote cleanliness as part of his pet Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) also ranked his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi a lowly 418, in spite of the Rs 20,000 crore it received in the past year to upgrade its rundown civic infrastructure.
“The survey is part of SBM in urban areas and would be done every year. Cities which consistently fare well on sanitation parameters will be given an incentive of 10% from the Centre’s share of Rs 14,623 crore,” said a senior UD ministry official.
Delhi’s next-door neighbours, who together make up the national capital region, also turned in a miserable showing. Gurgaon, which houses nearly 250 Fortune-500 companies, was among the bottom 11 with a rank of 466 while Faridabad was at 421. In comparison, Ghaziabad was way ahead at 138.
Mysuru in Karnataka topped the charts, followed by Tiruchirappalli, Navi Mumbai, Kochi, Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru.
Southern states fared the best in the survey with 39 cities in the top 100. The east contributed 27 cities to the top 100, followed by 15 from west, 12 from north and 7 from north-eastern states.
Among the bottom 100 cities, 74 were from northern states with Damoh in Madhya Pradesh pronounced the dirtiest Indian city to live in.
To arrive at the rankings, the ministry used a combination of secondary data of respective cities and on-the-ground inspection of how many households were using toilets of their own, whether public/community toilets were functional, number of establishments covered by the daily door-to-door garbage collection and the proportion of waste processed in a waste-recycling facility operated by municipalities.
Of the Rs 62,009 crore earmarked for SBM till 2019, the Centre’s contribution was Rs 14, 623 crore while state government’s would fork out Rs 4874 crore. The remaining contribution of Rs 42, 512 crore was to be borne mainly by the private sector.