Indore and Bhopal top the list Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Indian Government has instituted the Swachh Survekshan Awards which ranks participating cities on key parameters every year. The results of the “Swachh Survekshan 2017” have been released, where 500 cities of India would be ranked on the parameters of waste collection, sweeping and transportation; municipal solid waste processing and disposal; open defecation status; information, education and behaviour change and; capacity building.
Madhya Pradesh has topped this list in the year 2017. Indore has been ranked as the cleanest city in India. Bhopal is at the second spot in this list. The two major cities of MP have figured at the top in cleanliness, clearly an achievement for the state of MP. Indore and Bhopal are the two major cities in central India. The survey was conducted as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the campaign for clean India. Earlier, Mysore was the cleanest city in India. One of the interesting facets of the awards is active citizen participation in selecting the cleanest cities, as the as the citizen feedback has 30% weightage, besides collection of performance data through direct observations and independent assessment.
Indore, the city of the Holkars has reasons to feel grand. Ranked as the cleanest city in the country in the Swacch Survekshan 2017 rankings released by the Ministry of Urban Development today, this is a result of change, both in attitude, practice, deployment and creativity. Over the past two years Indore has succeeded in transforming the attitude of its citizens towards sanitation and correct handling and disposal of garbage. The city’s mayor credits the people and the workers for this singular achievement. “We have conducted workshops and campaigns to make the Swachh Bharat Mission a success in Indore. I think since the 2015 rankings, where we were trailing, we have really move up this time. In fact, Indore was recently declared Open Defecation free. This s essential to making and keeping our city clean” said the Mayor, Ms. Malini Gaur.
Indore’s relatively small size, the rapid urbanisation of its villages and a high rate of pre-existing latrine coverage make its open-defecation free status unique. Also unique is the city’s approach to the ODF solution. When panchayats encountered families who were unable to secure loans to construct a better (expensive) latrine, the route was not one of compromise but of innovation. Rather than choose a poor quality, inexpensive toilet, donations were marshalled by way of corporates and elected officials. When even donations were not available, the sarpanch himself hired a contractor to construct a Rs. 12,000-latrine for the family. To remain open defecation free, the city administration has instituted a practice of strict vigilance near the railway tracks traversing the city limits. The sight—and sound—of watch and ward personnel, armed with whistles, makes sure that there are defaulters are few and far between. “It is important that the people understand that open defecation is an unhealthy practice. Thus far we have set up around 5,000 toilets and community toilets to help inculcate better habits among people. Before this initiative, people lacked options, but now, happily, toilets are now available at key places” added Ms. Gaur.
Another creditable initiative here is the systematic door-to-door garbage collection system, both for residential as well as the commercial hubs. To promote healthy practices, the user charge for garbage collection has just a rupee a day. The garbage is collected twice a day from the residential areas. For commercial units and shops, garbage is collected three times in a day. The city councilors have also been assiduously working at promoting segregation of waste at source. “Segregation of waste at source is another crucial component of the Swachh Bharat Mission. We hold workshops for house-wives to help explain the values and advantages incident on waste segregation. I have personally ensured that houses have two separate buckets for waste segregation. In shops, were there were hardly any dustbins, we have gone ahead and provided them with waste buckets” explained the Mayor. The story, for Ms. Gaur, and for Indore, however, is just getting started. She is hopeful that while “There is a lot of work yet to be done, awareness and a change in attitude are crucial aspects for the success of this cleanliness mission. We have won half the battle with the setting up of toilets, but we have to continuously work towards promoting these habits in the days and years to come.” Amen to that.
One step forward: People behavior change as the key differentiator between Swachh Survekshan (SS) 16 and Swachh Survekshan (SS) 17. A mammoth exercise to understand citizens’ perception of and reaction to the PM’s favorite project, the SBM is now concluded for its 2nd edition. While the numbers of citizen surveyed runs into lakhs (18 lakhs valid responses), it is interesting to see the evolution of the SwacchSurvekshan (SS) methodology itself over its two iterations. This helps to get an insight into the mindset of the governing and of the dynamics of the narrative that informs the core of ‘sabkasaath, sabkavikas’. The novel aspect of this year’s survey was the feedback section denoting a will by the government to understand attitudes and feedback of the recipients of the benefits of SBM. In fact, may believe that the citizen feedback holds even greater relevance than city rankings. While the 2016 exercise, covering 73 cities, was more weighted in favor of ULB, and the citizen share was only 25 % in terms of evaluation criterion, this year, the citizen voice share has increased to 30 percent, and the ULB weightage has correspondingly reduced. Also, the sheer size and expanse of this year’s survey dwarfs the 2016 survey with 424 cities being covered and orders of magnitude higher than the previous survey. With Capacity building and SBM e-learning portal getting addition focus in terms of evaluation parameters thus year, the focus on empowering and guiding people to actively become a part of this sanitation and cleanliness movement is a marked improvement over the last year.
Progress across SBM parameters in SS 17: A closer look at the various parameters of this year’s SS provides a very clear indication of the fast pace of progress on multiple aspects of the SBM. -Over 83% of respondents reported their areas much cleaner than last year. Clear results are as follows:
1) 82% reported improvement in sanitation infrastructure and services like increased availability of litter bins and door-to-door collection of solid waste and 80% respondents proclaimed much better access to community and public toilets. In residential areas in 404 cities and towns, 75 % found them substantially clean and railway station surroundings were opined to be entirely clean in no less than185 cities. As far as Community and Public Toilets are concerned, 75 % were found ventilated, well-lit and had water supply.
2) The survey discovered that Door-to-Door collection of waste was being done in 80% of wards in 297 cities and towns, and sweeping was being done twice in 75% of notified commercial areas in 226 cities and towns. The due use of tech is visible in the deployment of GPS and RFID based tracking of vehicles transporting solid waste which is being done in 166 cities and towns.
3) The human resource management has also been appreciated and rightly so. The sanitation staff vacancy reduced to less than 10% in 227 cities and towns andICT based monitoring of attendance is now being done in 158 cities.
Clean India – SBM on the right track : The estimated cost of implementation of SBM (Urban) based on unit and per capita costs for its various components is Rs. 62,009 Crore. The Government of India share as per approved funding pattern amounts to Rs. 14,623 Crore. In addition, a minimum additional amount equivalent to 25% of GoI funding, amounting to Rs. 4,874 Crore shall be contributed by the States as State/ULB share. The balance funds is proposed to be generated through various other sources of fund. On date, the progress of SBM is considerable as the following figures clearly show:
• 31,14,349 Individual toilets
• 115,786 public toilets
• 626 ODF cities
• 42,948 wards with 100% door to door waste collection
• 88.4 MW waste to energy conversion
• 164,892 MT waste to compost conversion
As against the five year mission target of construction of 4,06,388 toilets in Gujarat and 6,117 toilets in Chandigarh, 5,06,567 toilets in Gujarat and 18,950 toilets in Chandigarh have been built so far. Other lead performers in respect of construction of household toilets include, Uttar Pradesh- 2,46,484, Tamil Nadu- 2,36,168, Madhya Pradesh- 2,11,734 and Andhra Pradesh- 2,05,772. According to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), sanitation coverage has gone up from 42 percent in October 2014 to 60 percent in 2017. As per MWDS, three states – Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim – 85 districts across the country and 1,52,535 villages have already been declared open defecation free (ODF). These achievements have clearly contributed to making sanitation a political priority.
The government has also nominated 27 prominent personalities from various walks of life for promoting SBM. The list includes Amitabh Bachchan, Ramdev, Shilpa Shetty, and Sachin Tendulkar among others.