President Ram Nath Kovind honoured the winners of the cleanest cities of India at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’, hosted as part of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
During the ceremony on 20 November, more than 300 awards under various categories were conferred upon states, cities, municipal corporations and sanitation workers.
With Indore bagging the title of India’s cleanest city for the fifth consecutive year, and Chhattisgarh becoming the cleanest state of India, the rankings were barely any different from that of the previous year as most cities and states moved up or down only by one or two ranks.
However, one standalone performance came from Karnataka, which climbed 12 spots from its previous year’s ranking of 21, and finished ninth on the table. The state was conferred with the ‘Fastest Mover State’ award for the same.
Karnataka’s Best Performance So Far At Swachh Survekshan 2021
Karnataka registered massive improvement in its performance from previous year as the state bagged a total of eight awards this year, with 149 of its urban local bodies (ULBs) being declared ODF+ and 2 ULBs as ODF++ in the ‘Open Defecation Free’ (ODF) category. In the ‘Garbage Free Cities’ (GFC) Star Rating, two ULBs earned the 3-star rating and one got a 5-star rating. Under the Prerak Dauur Samman, a new performance category introduced under Swachh Survekshan 2021, one of the state’s ULB was categorised Anupam (Gold), four as Ujjawal (Silver), three as Udit (Bronze) and one as Aarohi (Copper).
Mysore City Corporation won a 5-star rating in the ‘Garbage Free City’ category while Tumakuru and Hubli-Dharwad earned a 3-star rating in the same category. The Hubballi-Dharwad Corporation won an award for ‘Fastest Mover’ medium city. Hubballi-Dharwad earned a 3-star rating in the same category. Hosadurga town municipality won the ‘Clean City’ award in the Southern Zone; local bodies in Periyapatna and KR Nagar bagged awards under the best citizen feedback category. Mudhol in Bagalkot and Kumta in Uttara Kannada also won awards at the national level. Added to this, Bengaluru also bagged the ‘Fastest Mover’ Mega City Award.
Collective Efforts From Numerous ULBs Helped Karnataka Move Up The National Rankings
It was because of the collective efforts of nine municipal corporations that the state made a significant jump to make it to the list of top-10 cleanest states.
From Karnataka, it was Mysore alone that was awarded a 5-star ranking in the GFC category. Mysore was among eight cities in Karnataka which have qualified for a rank under different categories with others being Bruhat Bengaluru, K R Nagar, Periyapatna, Hubli-Dharwad, Mudhol, Hosadurga and Kumta.
Urban Development Minister Byrathi Basavaraj, Mysore Mayor Sunanda Palanetra, Mysore City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner G Lakshmikanth Reddy and Senior Health Officer Dr D G Nagaraj received the award from Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, reports Star of Mysore.
In addition to this, Bengaluru was adjudged the ‘Fastest Mover’ mega city in the Swachh Survekshan 2021, while being ranked 28 among the 48 cities with a population of more than 10 lakh. BBMP’s Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta, Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Harish Kumar and Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Sarfaraz Khan received the award in Delhi.
This year, the city scored 3,585.56 points out of 6,000, which includes 1,933.1 in service level progress category and 1,152.45 in citizen voice category. The average national score in this category was 2072 factors. The city has been certified as ODF++ (open defecation free), which yielded 500 points.
However, it failed to secure any points in the Garbage Free City (GFC) certification. Last year, Bengaluru had scored 2,656.82 points and was adjudged best ‘Self-Sustainable Mega City’ in the category of cities with population of over 40 lakh.
The city got the award for its efforts to improve waste segregation at source and solid waste-management practices. “We have several pockets within Bengaluru where source segregation is almost 100 per cent, such as H S R Layout and Koramangala. The welfare schemes for pourakarmikas, including uniforms and other benefits, have been recognised. Though we seem to be lacking in the area of citizen feedback,” said Sarfaraz Khan to The Hindu.
“Waste segregation in the city is 45 per cent as of now, but it needs to improve to 100 per cent in the coming days. Apartment complexes and individual houses are segregating wet waste with their own composting methods, which is good progress”, a senior solid waste management official stated. In the last one year, BBMP collected almost 4,200 tonnes of waste per day, which has now been increased by 400 tonnes.
A Lot Needs To Be Done
“Bangalore SWM has scored 50 per cent and this is a lacklustre performance with service level progress barely keeping its head above water. The certification process is demanding and needs a focussed approach from the administration to put in place required SWM systems and processes,” noted Sandya Narayanan, a member of Solid Waste Management Round Table. She further said that the BBMP is still not equipped to achieve the Water Plus and GFC tags as it is still in the service level category improvement.
V Ramaprasad, waste management expert and eco-warrior, pointed out that the BBMP is lagging behind in door-to-door garbage collection in certain regions, thereby leaving “black spots”. He also emphasised upon the need to put together an integrated system, with digitisation and real-time monitoring of all processes of all streams of waste. “The government has already established the Bengaluru Solid Waste Management Company. We also need a good expert committee that will work on integrating the efforts of all utilities and agencies. Right now, all are working in silos,” he said.
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