After a slide in cleanliness ranking for two consecutive years, Rajkot staged a comeback as the city broke back into top 10 after four years on Wednesday. In the latest Swachh Survekshan list, Rajkot was ranked the ninth cleanest city in the country, an improvement of 26 places as compared to last year. Ahmedabad, which also broke into the top 10, and Gandhinagar also improved their rankings but others dropped in the chart.
In the survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in New Delhi, Rajkot secured 4000 marks out of 5000 and was ranked ninth out of 100 cities in the country. Madhya Pradesh’s Indore was declared the cleanest city of India for the third consecutive year. Ambikapur of Chhatisgarh came second in the ranking, followed by Mysuru, Ujjain and New Delhi. Ahmedabad was ranked sixth cleanest city. Navi Mumbai, Tirupati, Rajkot and Devas completed the list of top 10 cleanest cities of the country in the category of cities having population of more than one lakh.
Incidentally, Rajkot was ranked the seventh cleanest city in the inaugural Swachh Survekshan, 2016. However, it slipped to eighteenth position in 2017 and further down to 35 in 2018 as the city suffered due to not having proper solid waste processing facilities in place.
“We have installed five composting plants to convert wet waste into compost which is processing around 100 per cent of wet waste. At the same time, three material recovery facilities and reverse vending machines are helping recycle dry waste to some extent. But the biggest factor in improving our ranking was the segregation of waste. Each and every staff member of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) took part in a driver to sensitise residents of the city about segregating waste at source and it has paid off. We are also capping the Sokhda dumping yard and capping it with a garden while the waste-to-energy plant is also likely to become functional in near future,” Rajkot municipal commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani told The Indian Express over phone.
The municipal commissioner and city mayor Bina Acharya were in New Delhi to receive the award of Swachh Survekshan on Wednesday.
Rajkot, the home town of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, generates around 577 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste every day and Pani said that around 60 per cent of that is a wet waste. The RMC also operates a bio-methanation plant as well as having set up landfilling sites for taking care of construction and demolition waste.
In the results declared on Wednesday, Rajkot secured 989 marks out of 1250 in the service level improvement (SLP) criterion, 1200 in direct observation, 1060 in citizens feedback Swachhta App, 750 in the certification of being open defecation free and ODF + and ODF ++ protocol. They were 79 per cent, 96 per cent, 85 per cent and 60 per cent respectively. Last year, the city had secured around 54 per cent marks in SLP, 96 per cent in direct observation and 78 per cent in citizen feedback Swachhta App.
“We need to improve in solid waste processing and beautification. Proper documentation also played a key role in improving our rankings but we can still do better on that front also. Majority of the cities in the top 10 have secured 750 marks for certification and that means we need to focus more on that. Our target is to score cent per cent in SLP,” the municipal commissioner further said.
Ahmedabad also improved its rankings by six positions and stood sixth. Gandhinagar also jumped four places to be ranked 22 while Surat retained its fourteenth spot. However, Vadodara dropped 35 places and was ranked 79. Vapi, which had secured 33rd position last year, performed worse this time and was placed at 88th. Deesa and Bhavnagar were other two cities from Gujarat which figured in the list of 100 cleanest cities. They were placed 73 and 91 respectively.