Nearly 18 months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Mysuru in Karnataka has retained the top spot as India’s cleanest city out of 73 cities with a population of 1 million or more. The ministry of urban development ranked 73 cities for their work in different areas of sanitation. Under the Swachh Survekshan-2016, Mysuru retained the top spot it had earned last year when 476 cities with a population of over 1 lakh each were surveyed. It is followed by Chandigarh (best in north zone), Tiruchirapalli and New Delhi’s NDMC (best among Smart Cities). Interestingly, Varanasi from where Modi contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections comes in at rank 65. Four cities –Visakhapatnam, Surat, Rajkot and Gangtok – entered the Top 10 list while Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and Nashik have dropped out.
India five dirtiest cities are Meerut, Patna, Itanagar, Asansol and Dhanbad. Minister for urban development, Venkaiah Naidu stated that all cities with a population of over 1 lakh would be surveyed for cleanliness every year. While NDMC makes it to the top 5, South MCD has been ranked 39, North MCD 42, while East MCD is lower at 52. The best performer among mega cities is surprisingly Greater Mumbai at rank 10 while Gangtok has been rated the best among capitals and in the North-East region. While Chennai is ranked 36, it is followed by Gurgaon and Bengaluru (38). Rajkot in Gujarat has been the best performer in door-to-door collection and transportation of solid waste and sweeping.
Results are based on the marks scored with respect to the components of the Swachh Bharat Mission. This includes availability of infrastructure and service levels related to sanitation such as individual household toilets, public and community toilets and collection, transportation and processing of municipal solid waste.
The ministry of urban development has classified the cities into four categories. The top 15 cities which scored more than 70% of the total 2000 marks are categorized Leaders; 20 cities (ranks 16-35) with 60-70% scores have been termed Aspiring Leaders, 18 cities (ranks 36-53) with 50%-60% scores need to accelerate their efforts and the 20 cities (ranks 54-73) with scores below 50% have been termed Slow Movers. These cities need to work harder to improve sanitation. The MoUD believes that as such surveys happen every year, there will be a greater degree of churn to getter a better rank.