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Swachh Bharat survey: PM’s constituency Varanasi the only UP city among top 100

Urban Development Ministry had launched the Swachch Survekshan 2017 on January 4. The survey, conducted by the Quality Council of India, ranked 434 cities across the country on cleanliness and other aspects of urban sanitation.

india Updated: May 05, 2017 00:43 IST
Sudhir Kumar
Sudhir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Varanasi
Swachch Bharat Abhiyan,Clean India Mission,Swachh Bharat ranking
A ghat in Varanasi, the city was ranked 32nd in a survey of clean cities in India.(Rajesh Kumar /HT Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Varanasi, has soared up the cleanliness scale occupying the 32nd position in ‘Swachch Survekshan-2017,’ which is a part of the Modi government’s flagship Swachch Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) programme or Clean India Mission. It ranked 65th last year and 418th in 2014.

Incidentally, Varanasi is the lone city from UP to figure in the top 100 cleanest cities followed by Aligarh at a distant 145th rank and Jhansi at 166th rank. Gonda in UP was adjudged the dirtiest city in the country and was ranked 434th in the list. UP has 25 cities in the bottom of the list.

Urban Development Ministry had launched the Swachch Survekshan 2017 on January 4. The survey, conducted by the Quality Council of India, ranked 434 cities across the country on cleanliness and other aspects of urban sanitation. Around 37 lakh people submitted their responses.

Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, which was launched on October 2014, got a push in Varanasi when PM Modi wielded a spade and dug up silt at the iconic Assi ghat on November 8 that year during his visit to the city.

Varanasi Nagar Nigam (VNN) is the nodal body for the mission here. VNN in association with local non government organisations and volunteers carried out over 150 cleanliness awareness drives among locals at different places, including iconic ghats, lanes, mohallas, schools and colleges.

Indore (MP)125149
Bhopal (MP)221105
Vishakhapatnam (Andhra)35205
Surat (Gujarat)4663
Mysuru (Karnataka)511
Tiruchirapally (Tamil Nadu)632
NDMC (Delhi)7415
Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra)8123
Tirupathi (Andhra)9Not surveyed 137
Vadodara (Gujarat)1013214
*434 cities (over one lakh population each) were part of the survey in 2017 while 73 cities (over one million population each) were covered in 2016 and 476 cities (over one lakh population each) in 2014.

Sanitation volunteers knocked on the doors of each house in old city and appealed people not to throw garbage in the open and instead use dustbins placed in their respective areas. Simultaneously, sanitation efforts included door-to-door garbage collection in association. VNN involved three NGOs: ILFS, KIANA and Ecopal in cleanliness work.

ILFS looks after cleanliness in 14 wards along with all 84 iconic ghats. It is involved in door-to-door garbage collection and its volunteers also carried out awareness drive as well. Likewise KIANA looks after cleanliness in 30 wards and Ecopal in 25 wards while VNN cleans 21 wards.

Chief health officer at VNN Dr AK Dubey, who is also the nodal officer of Swachch Bharati Abhiyan, said, “The awareness drives have brought a positive change in people’s mindset. Now, instead of dumping garbage on roads and lanes, they look for a dustbin. He hopes the ongoing efforts will also change the mindset of those who still dump garbage in open space.”

Swachh survey 2017: Chandigarh cleanest city in North India, Muktsar dirtiest

Strict monitoring of garbage collection has also added to cleanliness across the city. As many as 1774 sanitation workers are deployed for cleanliness. Of these, 407 have been outsourced and 103 are on contract basis. A fleet of 104 vehicles ferry garbage to the dumping ground.

A few months back, the municipal body also deployed 103 night sanitation workers who sweep roads during night. The city has also got a well equipped night sweeper machine.

Dustbins placed at ghats

In addition, 150 dustbins were set up at ghats with a slogan: ‘Use me.’ Around 500 litter bins were distributed in areas alongside the ghats. In all 5,500 dustbins, including smalls and big ones were placed all over the city during last two-and-a-half years.

Dubey said, “Our serious efforts have tremendously improved cleanliness across the city. Efforts of VNN are on to achieve the goal of 100 per cent cleanliness in the city, which will be done in cooperation with the the locals.”

More public toilets constructed

Earlier, people would urinate against walls due to lack of public toilets. Under the mission, there was target of constructing 330 toilets across the city. As many as 278 community toilets have already been built and 52 are under construction. Of the total, 30 per cent toilets are for women.

In addition, 9702 Individual household toilets are to be built in the city by 2019. Of these, 2375 individual household toilets have already been constructed and 1500 are under construction.

Dust bins installed at the ghats of Varanasi. (Rajesh Kumar /HT Photo)

Locals rejoice

Meanwhile, Varanasi mayor Ramgopal Mohale expressed joy over Varanasi’s improved ranking and said, “We will make Varanasi the cleanest city in the country. Dramatic improvement in its ranking in the survey shows that our efforts have started yielding desired results. Next time, Varanasi will be number 1 in cleanliness.”

Similarly, Rajiv Rai, a resident of Teliabagh locality, also expressed happiness over the dramatic improvement in Varanasi’s ranking. “There has been a dramatic improvement in cleanliness across the city following the efforts by Centre. Locals need to change their mindset and must contribute to the efforts being made by VNN to make Varanasi the cleanest city in the country,” Rai said. Keeping city clean is responsibility of one and all, he added.

First Published: May 04, 2017 20:46 IST