Sunday, 12 July, 2020
Madhya Pradesh - 08 August, 2018

MP retains ‘India’s cleanest city’ title

Madhya Pradesh’s Indore has retained its “India’s Cleanest City” title, while Bhopal clinched the “Second Cleanest City” title for the second consecutive year...

Samuel Mathai

Madhya Pradesh’s Indore has retained its “India’s Cleanest City” title, while Bhopal clinched the “Second Cleanest City” title for the second consecutive year.

The Union government has announced the results of Swachh Survekshan 2018, the first pan Indian exercise to assess cleanliness in urban India. According to the report, 4,203 cities have been surveyed from January 4 to March 10, 2018.

In the survey report, Chandigarh has been ranked as the third cleanest city, moving up from Rank 11 in 2017, whereas Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh found a special mention as the fastest moving big city, moving up to Rank 36 from the previous 351.

Jharkhand has been declared the best performing state, followed by Maharashtra.

As a part of the survey, total marks for assessment was increased to 4,000, from 2,000 in last year's survey. Category wise assessment of open defecation free (ODF) progress, collection and transportation of solid waste and processing of solid waste saw their respective weightages being increased this year.

Similar to last year's survey, the results for this year involved data submitted by civic bodies on cleanliness and sanitation, as well as feedback from the citizens.

Majority of cities don’t have systems for processing, disposal

However, according to Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a public interest research and advocacy organisation that promotes environmentally sound and equitable development strategies, “Swachh Survekshan 2018 awards cities that have worked only on cleaning the city and not on how to process and recycle the waste.”

Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general of CSE said: “Majority of the top 50 cities with population above 1-lakh are visibly clean, but do not have appropriate systems for processing and disposal. They continue to collect waste and dump it in poorly managed landfills and dumpsites.”

As per the CSE analysis, most of the cities in the top 50 do not collect segregated waste at source. In Chandigarh, NDMC (North Delhi Municipal Council), SDMC (South Delhi Municipal Council), Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Greater Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur and Jaipur there is no collection of segregated waste at source. At some places, however, mixed waste is further sorted into different fractions.  

Bhushan said Indore, ranked as the cleanest city in the country has created systems for segregation, collection, processing and disposal of waste, but its model has been found to be highly capital-intensive, as it is based on centralised processing. Many cities cannot afford to manage their waste with such a system.

Out of the top 50 cities, 11 are from Madhya Pradesh. Though, collection of waste has improved in these cities, segregation at source, processing and disposal are still a concern.

Chandigarh, the third cleanest in the list, has no effective system to segregate waste at source. The city has received a lot of flak in the recent past from its residents for its ineffective collection and transportation of wastes. Its processing plant, managed by the Jaypee group in Dadu Majra, has been under legal turmoil, he said.

In NDMC (ranked 4) and SDMC (ranked 32), garbage disposal has been mechanised by using waste compactors. However, 80 per cent of the waste processing is happening via waste-to-energy. The waste-to-energy plant in Okhla has been under intense scrutiny for causing pollution.

Tirupati, Aligarh and Ghaziabad have no proper processing and disposal mechanisms in place. Jaipur (ranked 39) has a centralised composting plant managed by IL&FS and a dump yard where all the garbage is disposed.

Chhattisgarh focuses on segregation, recycling and reuse of waste

Many cities of Chhattisgarh have performed very well in the Survekshan 2018. “Cities in Chhattisgarh have adopted the Ambikapur model which entirely focuses on segregation, recycling and reuse. We are happy that the Survekshan methodology has captured the good work being done in smaller cities,” said Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager, Waste Management unit, CSE. However, the Survekshan methodology is not recognising cities that have adopted highly decentralised systems.

“One major anomaly in the Survekshan results is that it continues to mark cities on their door-to-door collection systems. But some cities do not practice door-to-door, and yet are the cleanest, adopting household level treatment of wet waste and collection of dry waste by the local body,” said Sambyal.

Kerala cities convert waste into compost, biogas

Most of the cities in Kerala, waste is converted into compost or biogas at the household or community-level. Inorganic wastes like plastic, glass, metals, papers etc are sent for recycling. These cities make money from solid waste rather than spending crores of rupees in collecting and transporting waste to landfills, pointed out CSE researchers.

“Cities must shift their focus towards creating end-to-end systems to support segregation with effective processing and disposal mechanisms. Our analysis shows that waste management based on segregation and decentralised processing is cost-effective and sustainable. Swachh Survekshan must incentivise segregation and not merely cleanliness,” Bhushan summed up.

Highlights of the Swachh Survekshan 2018


Cleanest State Capital:                               Greater Mumbai

Best city in innovation and best practices: Nagpur

Best city in Solid Waste Management:                 Navi Mumbai


India's Cleanest City Zone-Wise


North:         Bhalso, Punjab

East:            Bundu, Jharkhand

North-East: Kakching, Manipur

South:         Siddipet, Telangana

West:           Panchgani, Maharashtra


Parameters on which cities ranked

This year the survey attempts to capture the progress in 6 broad parameters -- Collection and Transportation of Municipal Solid Waste; Processing and Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste; Sanitation Related Progress; IEC (Information, Education and Communication); Capacity Building and Innovation and Best Practices.

Last year, cities were assessed on five parameters — ODF status of the city and developments on the construction front of the toilets; the waste collection, sweeping and transportation system in the area to see whether the area is clean or dirty; municipal solid waste processing and disposal system to know how well the area manages the waste they create and information, education and behavioural change activities to know how well people know about India’s biggest cleanliness drive.

(Courtesy: Mitaan Express)

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