While cities from the South and West continue to perform well on the cleanliness scale, those from the North are also catching up fast. This is clearly reflected in the top five rankings of the list of cleanest cities. The list was prepared on the basis of the first-ever survey carried out by the Urban Affairs Ministry post the launch of Prime Minister’s ‘Clean India’ Mission two years ago.
In the first-ever survey conducted after the launch of the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ in 2014, Mysuru in the southern state of Karnataka emerged as the cleanest city, followed by Chandigarh. Ironically enough, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi is among the 10 least clean cities in the country.
Accompanying Varanasi and figuring at the bottom of the list is Dhanbad in Jharkhand. The last cleanliness survey was conducted in 2014 among 476 cities with a population of one lakh and above and its results were announced last year. The City of Palaces had ranked at the top in that list as well.
The latest survey, called the Swachh Survekshan-2016, was released by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu in New Delhi on February 15. It covered 73 cities, including 51 with more than 1O-Iakh population, on cleanliness and sanitation. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area of the national Capital also figures among the top five in the list. The other cities which have found place in 10 cleanest category in the survey, conducted by the Quality Council of India, include Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Surat (Gujarat), Rajkot (Gujarat), Gangtok (Sikkim), Pimpri-Chindwad (Maharashtra) and Greater Maharashtra.
The least clean cities included Dhanbad (Jharkhand), Asansol (West Bengal), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), Patna (Bihar), Meerut(Uttar Pradesh), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), Jamshedpur(Jharkhand), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Kalyan Dombivili (Maharashtra).
“Swachh Survekshan-2016 is primarily intended to measure the impact of the efforts under the Swachh Bharat Mission,” said Naidu after releasing the survey. “The results of the survey were analysed to identify the top leaders, aspiring leaders, cities where accelerated efforts need to be made and the slow movers,” he added.
“This (ranking) is meant to help the cities know where they stand in absolute terms and in relation to others besides what more needs to be done by each city to ensure sanitation. In that sense, the survey is more holistic, participatory, purposeful and meaningful for future guidance and evolving course of action,” the minister said.
Cities from South and West continue to do well overall but those in other parts of the country, particularly, in the North are beginning to catch up with the traditional leaders, Naidu concluded.