Cleanliness survey: After raising a ‘stink’ last year, UP looks for a clean sweep
Last year, 60 cities of UP had participated in the exercise to compete with 374 cities from across the country. Five UP cities were ranked among 10 dirtiest.Updated: Jan 04, 2018 11:42 IST
After a dismal performance in nationwide cleanliness survey conducted by the union urban development ministry last year, Uttar Pradesh is gearing up for a fresh exercise as part of the Modi government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’.
Last year, 60 cities of UP had participated in the exercise to compete with 374 cities from across the country. Five UP cities were ranked among 10 dirtiest.
The challenge would be tougher this time as UP would be up against 4,041 cities in the exercise beginning Thursday.
While UP’s Gonda had the ignominy of being rated as the country’s dirtiest, Hardoi, Bahraich and Khurja were also among the bottom ten along with Shahjahanpur – from where UP’s urban development minister Suresh Khanna has been getting elected since 1989.
“UP didn’t fare well last year. This time, we have been making more efforts and have also held awareness campaigns,” said Khanna hoping that the state would put up a better show this time.
After last year’s findings, a dejected Yogi Adityanath and Suresh Khanna had picked up a broom to launch a cleanliness drive in a slum in Lucknow.
However, the BJP had tried to sidestep the blame by pointing out that the survey findings pertained to the period when the Samajwadi Party government was in power.
Now, with its government in the state and BJP mayors in 14 of the 16 municipal corporations besides a record number of corporators elected on its ticket, the party is aware that it won’t have that cushion.
Khanna’s office has sent a missive to officials and elected members of all the 653 urban and semi-urban bodies in the state asking them to pool in their efforts and resources to improve UP’s showing in nationwide cleanliness exercise. It is a difficult task in a state where data by union ministry of drinking water and sanitation showed that VIP districts ranked low in checking open defecation.
Aware of the challenge, Khanna has asked elected members of urban local bodies to make special efforts so that the people could feel the difference.
Of the total 4,000 points in the survey, 1,400 are for citizens’ feedback.
In 2017, cities were evaluated on five parameters – waste collection, solid waste management, construction of toilets, sanitation strategies and behaviour change communication.
This year too, the people’s perception will play a role in determining the rankings which is the reason why the Yogi government is attaching importance to the nine-point questionnaire for the people.
The queries for the people would include if they are satisfied by the government’s door-to-door garbage collection initiative, if public urinals and toilets have increased and if they have resulted in lesser people defecating in the open. Public perception, along with the data provided by municipal corporations and assessment by independent observers, would determine the final outcome.