Indore is India’s cleanest city, UP’s Gonda dirtiest: Swachh Bharat survey
Indore in Madhya Pradesh is India’s cleanest city and Gonda in Uttar Pradesh the filthiest, a nationwide cleanliness survey by the urban development ministry has found.
The survey of 434 cities, conducted as part of the Modi government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or Clean India Mission, has seen the historic city in MP knock off Karnataka’s Mysuru, which has been topping the rankings.
The Top 5
Mysuru slipped to number five, an indication it failed to stick to the sanitation standards it achieved in 2016 and 2014. Waste collection, solid-waste processing and checking open defecation were among other criteria cities were measured against.
Bhopal, another city in the BJP-ruled MP, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Surat in Gujarat are the other five cleanest cities, says the third edition of the Swachh Survekshan released on Thursday by urban development minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
The cleanliness survey was carried out during January and February.
Launched in 2014, the Swachh Bharat campaign aims to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi.
How Delhi & NCR fared
The New Delhi Municipal Council area, the Capital’s power district where 1.5 % of Delhi’s 16.78 million resident live, is out of the top five. It slipped to seventh position, dropping three places from last year.
The rest of Delhi, too, failed to impress.
While Delhi Cantonment is ranked 172, the east, south and north municipal corporation areas are at 196, 202 and 279 places, respectively.
The BJP beat anti-incumbency and recently returned to power in the east, south and north civic bodies, where garbage collection and disposal continues to be a big problem.
In the national capital region except Faridabad, ranked 88, none of Delhi’s neighbours are among the 100 cleanest cities.
Gurgaon, where around 250 Fortune 500 companies are based, is ranked 112 while Ghaziabad is way down at 351, a stark reminder that infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of urbanisation in the country.
UP dirties but Varanasi rising
India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh is also the dirtiest. Fifty of the 62 of its cities that were surveyed ranked below 300.
The holy city of Varanasi, which is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency, is the only exception. It was ranked 32, a dramatic improvement from 2014 when it was close to the bottom at 418 among 476 cities.
One of the oldest living cities in the world, Varanasi has got more than Rs 20,000 crore since 2014 to upgrade its rundown infrastructure, an indication of the effort and money it would require to improve India’s urban landscape.
The worst of the heap
Gonda, a town in Uttar Pradesh, is the dirtiest at 434. Bhusawal in Maharashtra is a rank above. Bihar’s Bagaha is at number 432, Hardoi in UP 431 and Bihar’s Katihar at 430.
North India continues to fare poorly. Of the 10 dirtiest cities five are in Uttar Pradesh, two each in Bihar and Punjab and one in Maharashtra.
It also points to the problem the authorities face in informing people about the link between sanitation and public health.
Cities in the south and west India fare better. Modi’s home state of Gujarat has 12 clean cities among the top 50.
How cities were ranked
Cities were evaluated on five parameters – waste collection, solid-waste management, construction of toilets, sanitation strategies and behaviour change communication.
The rankings are based on the data provided by municipal corporations, independent assessors and feedback from people. In all, 3.7 million citizens participated in the exercise.