Surat and Rajkot were among the top 10 clean cities in India, according to a list announced Monday by Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu as part of the Swachh Survekshan-2016.
While Surat was on the sixth position, Rajkot was a notch below at seventh. These two cities were the best performers in the west zone. The list was topped by Mysuru.
Rajkot was also adjudged the “best performer in door-to-door collection and transportation of solid waste and sweeping”.
Vadodara (13) and Ahmedabad (14) were among the top 15 rankers in the list of 73 cities. The top 15 cities scored more than 70 per cent of the total marks of 2,000 and were categorised as “leaders”.
Of the total marks, 60 per cent was assigned for solid waste management-related parameters, 30 per cent for construction of toilets, five per cent for city-level sanitation strategy and another five per cent for behaviour change communication.
Gandhinagar was ranked 42nd on the list and was among cities that needed to accelerate sanitation efforts.
After the announcement, Surat mayor Ashmita Shiroya received the award from the Union Minister in New Delhi.
Surat Municipal Commissioner (SMC) Milind Torwane said, “We are happy that we stood on sixth position, but we would not be satisfied with this rank and we will make our services more efficient so that we would reach to the top position. During last survey we were on 12th rank.”
SMC standing committee chairman Rajesh Desai said: “There are at present 165 pay-and-use toilets functioning in the city, while construction work of 45 such toilets is under progress. Everyday, 331 vehicles have been kept for door-to-door collection of household wastes, while over 95 vehicles and staffers have been kept to collect commercial wastes from the city. The SMC is planning to start biogas plant, where agricultural wastes collected from the APMC market will be processed. The biometric wastes of hospitals and laboratories in the city is being processed by an expert agency.”
After Rajkot secured 1574 marks out of the total 2,000 and was ranked seventh, city mayor Jayman Upadhyay and municipal commissioner Vijay Nehra accepted the award from Naidu.
“This is a result of hard work put in by Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and cooperation of residents of the city. We have managed to reduce the practice of open defecation by 80 per cent. We have also created dedicated hawkers zones helping in improving overall cleanliness and our service of door-to-door garbage collection has played a pivotal role in securing this rank,” Upadhyay told The Indian Express from Delhi.