The Swachh Bharat Mission, the government’s flagship cleanliness project launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014, aims to clean up the country’s 4,041 statutory cities and towns over the next five years. The Mission envisages an investment of Rs 62,009 crore, of which Rs 14,623 crore will be provided by the Centre. The rest is expected to be raised by states, urban local bodies, and from private players.
What are the recently-released rankings based on Swachh Bharat Mission indicators about?
The Ministry of Urban Development has released cleanliness rankings for all Class 1 cities with a population of over one lakh — 476 in all. The cities were graded based on their performance on two major indicators in the Mission: efforts to end open defecation, and solid waste management practices, which were assigned 20 and 22 marks respectively. The country was divided into five zones — South, North, West, East and Central — and market research agencies were appointed to collate data from urban local bodies on individual, public and community toilets and the door-to-door collection, transportation and disposal of waste generated in each city. This was followed by field visits and interviews in five sample railway stations, bus stations, slums, markets, commercial areas and planned and unplanned localities, before marks were assigned for various categories.
What were the key findings of the Survey?
The national capital Delhi, and financial capital Mumbai, have abysmally low rankings. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi area, which includes the three urban local bodies of North, South and East Delhi and governs eights of the 11 districts in the state of Delhi, is at 397th position. The Delhi Cantonment, which comes under the Ministry of Defence, and areas in Lutyens’ Delhi, which are under the New Delhi Municipal Council, rank high — occupying the 14th and 15th positions respectively.
In the National Capital Region, Faridabad is at the 421st place, while Ghaziabad ranks better at No.138.
Mumbai (No. 140) is outranked by its satellite town of Navi Mumbai which, according to the results of the Survey, is India’s third cleanest city. Among the state capitals, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Gangtok are in the top 10, while Jaipur and Patna have ranked a poor 370 and 429 respectively. Mysuru in Karnataka and Damoh in Madhya Pradesh occupy the top and bottom ends of the list. Ministry officials say an incentive grant of Rs 1,500 crore has been set aside for distribution among the better performing cities.
Do the rankings reflect the performance of the Swachh Bharat Mission?
A day after releasing the Swachh Bharat Rankings, 2014-15, the Urban Development Ministry issued a statement clarifying that the Survey had been carried out before the Mission was launch in October 2014. According to the Ministry release, the collection of data began in January 2014, and four of the five agencies entrusted with the task had completed it in August 2014, almost two months before Clean India Mission was launched.
“The survey reflects the prevailing state of the 476 cities before the Mission launch,” the release said. The Prime Minister’s constituency, Varanasi, is in the bottom 20 per cent of the list, ranked 418.
How have cities in constituencies represented by well known leaders fared?
Immediately after the rankings were out, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh used them to take a swipe at the performance of the Modi government. “In Swatch (sic) Bharat list Congress & non BJP ruled States get top 10 positions. Any comment on so called Good Governance of BJP ruled States?” he tweeted.
Rae Bareli city, which is part of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, is about halfway down the list, at No. 240. The urban local body areas of Lucknow, which are part of the Lok Sabha constituency of Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is at the 220th position. The Nagpur civic body areas in Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari’s constituency is at No. 256. Vidisha, in External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s seat, ranks lower at No. 312. Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharti’s Jhansi is ranked at No. 324, while Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s Gwalior is at rank 400.
1. Mysuru, Karnataka
2. Tiruchirappali, Tamil Nadu
3. Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
4. Kochi, Kerala
5. Hassan, Karnataka
6. Mandya, Karnataka
7. Bengaluru, Karnataka
8. Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
9. Halisahar, West Bengal
10. Gangtok, Sikkim
476. Damoh, Madhya Pradesh
475. Bhind, Madhya Pradesh
474. Palwal, Haryana
473. Bhiwani, Haryana
472. Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
471. Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh
470. Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh
469. Rewari, Haryana
468. Hindaun, Rajasthan
467. Sambalpur Town, Odisha