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Home / India News / Swachh Survekshan 2020: Indore ranked cleanest city fourth time in a row

Swachh Survekshan 2020: Indore ranked cleanest city fourth time in a row

Swachh Survekshan 2020: Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded the title of “Swachh Cities”’ on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drives as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) that was launched in 2014.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2020, 01:49 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
While Indore ranked first among cities with more than one million population, Patna in Bihar was ranked the lowest at 47.
While Indore ranked first among cities with more than one million population, Patna in Bihar was ranked the lowest at 47.(HT Photo )

Madhya Pradesh’s Indore has been ranked India’s cleanest city for the fourth consecutive year by Swachh Survekshan 2020, the central government’s annual cleanliness survey to promote sanitation in urban centres under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The findings were released on Thursday.

While Indore ranked first among cities with more than one million population, Patna in Bihar was ranked the lowest at 47.

Surat in Gujarat and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra were ranked the second and third cleanest cities, respectively. In the category of cities with a population of less than 100,000, Karad won the first position, followed by Saswad and Lonavala. All three are in Maharashtra.

 

The survey’s findings were based on assessments by field officers and citizens’ feedback on garbage disposal, open defecation free ratings, functionality and maintenance of community toilets and safe management of faecal sludge from the toilets and ensuring that no untreated sludge is discharged into open drains or water bodies.

Also read| Swachh Survekshan Awards 2020: List of winning cities

Chhattisgarh was ranked the cleanest state of India in the category of states with fewer than 100 urban local bodies (ULBs) category. Jharkhand was adjudged the cleanest state of India in the above 100-ULBs category. Among cantonment boards, Jalandhar was rated the cleanest followed by Delhi and Meerut.

The announcement of this year’s rankings was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry of housing and urban affairs said. The survey, performed in January before the lockdown to curb the outbreak, was completed in 28 days, covering 4,242 cities, and saw the participation of 18.7 million citizens.

“When the Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) was launched in 2014, it was with the objective of making urban India 100% open defecation free (ODF) along with 100% scientific solid waste management. With no concept of ODF in urban areas and solid waste processing standing at a mere 18%, it was clear that an accelerated approach was necessary if the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s dream of a Swachh India was to be achieved within the time-frame of five years ,” housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri said at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Also read: Indore India’s cleanest city, Surat and Navi Mumbai bag 2nd, 3rd spot

“A framework was therefore needed to bring about rigour in the progress in monitoring and a spirit of healthy competition amongst states and cities to improve their performance in key cleanliness parameters. It was this underlying thought that led to the conceptualization and subsequent implementation of Swachh Survekshan (SS), a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large-scale citizen participation,” he added.

Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded the title of “Swachh Cities”’ on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drives as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission) that was launched in 2014.

“Overall, I feel, the Survekshan assessments have been very holistic addressing different categories of cities and also including and acknowledging different city models on waste and sanitation. The focus has been on sustainable management and interventions and maximum citizen participation,” said Swati Singh Sambyal, a Delhi-based waste management expert and former programme manager , environmental governance (municipal solid waste), at the Centre for Science and Environment.

Sambyal said the waste generation had increased manifold as the cities battle the pandemic and wondered how things may change in the next Swachh Survekshan. “How do we address behaviour change at the same time strengthen waste management,” Sambyal added.

The ministry of housing and urban affairs is the nodal agency for the Swachh Bharat Mission, conducted its first survey in 2016, ranking 73 cities (urban local bodies). To expand the coverage, the ministry conducted its second survey the following year, ranking 434 cities. In Swachh Survekshan 2018, the scale increased to 4,203 cities.In the 2019 Swachh Survekshan 4,237 cities were covered.

“Mainstreaming of informal waste workers, provision of social security schemes and safety gears to all sanitation workers, dignity and recognition and welfare of sanitation workers and their families was accorded due importance” in the latest survey, Puri said.

He added that the survey team visited over 58,000 residential and over 20,000 commercial areas covering over 64,000 wards – all in 28 days.

“I think if the methodology is expanded to include processes in the full cycle of waste {generation and disposal} , and not merely outcomes, we can get a more holistic picture of the Mission. Repeated winning by some of the cities also indicates that the competition can improve if the methodology is fine-tuned,” said KT Ravindran, urban planning expert and former chairman of Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).

This year, the ministry also introduced a new category called Ganga Towns, ranking the cleanliness of towns situated along the river’s banks. Among them, it ranked Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh the cleanest of towns with a more than 100,000 population and Kannauj, also in UP, the first among towns with population of 50,000 to 100,000.

“We have gone through the methodology of the survey conducted this year thoroughly and we really believe there has been a vast improvement in the methodology from the past few years. When they started with the survey a few years back ,they focused only on doorstep collection of waste. Now the focus has grown from that to the process of waste collection and recycling. What is even better is the emphasis this is year is also on landfills and how to minimise them. They have not only included solid waste but also liquid waste management. The indicator have improved tremendously and now the cities should work on them,” said Sunita Narain, director general of the Centre for Science and Environment.

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