SUBJECT :Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 

 ndore in Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the cleanest city in the country, while Gonda in Uttar Pradesh has been found to be the dirtiest, the government said today.

Bhopal, also in MP, occupies the second best spot among 434 cities and towns, followed by Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Surat in Gujarat, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, announcing the results of an exercise he described as a citizens’ verdict.

UT Chandigarh, which was ranked second in the previous survey, has slipped to the 11 spot.

Overall, 37 lakh people responded to a set of six questions about the city they belonged to in the survey of 434 cities, which account for about 60 per cent of the total urban population in the country. The response of 18 lakh people was taken into consideration for the survey after the elimination of duplicate feedback.

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

Mysuru in Karnataka, which bagged the first spot in the last two surveys, has slipped to the fifth position.

“No way it meant that cleanliness has declined in the city or the city government scaled down its efforts... Other cities have scored over Mysuru,” Naidu explained.

Gujarat, with 12 cities in the top 50, has the best score among the states, and Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for half of the 50 dirtiest cities, is at the bottom of the list.

Madhya Pradesh, with 11 cities in the top 50, and Andhra Pradesh, with eight, follow Gujarat.

West Bengal did not take part in the survey. Tiruchirapally in Tamil Nadu is the sixth cleanest city, followed by the New Delhi Municipal Council area of the national capital.

Bhusawal in Maharashtra is the dirtiest after Gonda, the survey states. Bagaha and Katihar (Bihar), Hardoi, Bahraich, Shahjahanpur and Khurja (UP) and Muktsar and Abohar (Punjab) are in the bottom 10.

The Urban Development Ministry had commissioned the survey for 434 cities and towns with a population of 1 lakh and above in January and February this year.

Naidu described Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as “Movers and Shakers” for having significantly improved their rankings since 2014.

The first survey in 2014 was launched before the announcement of the SBA in October, 2014. The 2016 survey covered 73 cities with over 10 lakh population each and capital cities.

The minister said all cities surveyed in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand had substantially improved their rankings since 2014. Gujarat has done so in every city, barring Rajkot.

Likewise, every city in Chhattisgarh, except Bilaspur, has shown an improvement, he said.

Two cities have fallen in Telangana, and four in Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu said UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab and Kerala needed to substantially step up efforts to improve sanitation standards in urban areas.

In Bihar, 19 out of the 27 cities surveyed have ranks beyond 300. The cleanest city — at 147 — is Biharsharif.

In Rajasthan, 18 of 29 cities are ranked beyond 300 with 13 in the bottom 100. Bundi, at 171, is the best ranked city in the state.

In Punjab, seven of the 16 cities surveyed figure among the bottom 100, with SAS Nagar at 121 getting the highest rank in the state.

Faridabad in Haryana, which improved its rank from 379 in 2014 to 88 this year, has been recognised as the “Fastest Mover” among cities with a population of above one million each.

“I think this is the largest-ever such survey to be conducted by the government on any issue of public importance,” the minister said

The survey aims at capturing the outcomes of ongoing efforts to stop open defecation in urban areas and to improve the door-to-door collection, processing and disposal of Municipal Solid Waste. — PTI

Source: The Tribune