NEW DELHI :
INDORE was adjudged India’s cleanest city for the fifth time in a row in the Central Government’s annual cleanliness awards while Chhattisgarh retained the first position in the State category. The second and third positions in the ‘cleanest city’ category of the ‘Swachh Survekshan Awards, 2021’ were secured by Surat and Vijayawada, respectively. Varanasi, represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha, has been adjudged the “cleanest Ganga town” while Bihar’s Munger and Patna have been ranked second and third in the category.
Varanasi had won the same award last year as well. Although Indore and Surat retained their positions in the ‘Swachh Survekshan Awards 2021’, Navi Mumbai lost its third spot to Vijaywada and was in the fourth position in the latest survey results announced by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry on Saturday. According to the ministry,Maharashtra has bagged a total of 92 awards, the highest by any state, followed by Chhattisgarh with 67 awards. Under the survey, a total of nine cities -- Indore, Surat, New Delhi Municipal Council, Navi Mumbai, Ambikapur, Mysuru, Noida, Vijayawada and Patan -- have been certified with 5 star city ratings under the garbage-free city category while 143 cities have been rated as 3 star. President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the awards in the presence of Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and others at an event here. The ministry said in the latest nationwide cleanliness survey, 4,320 cities were covered in 28 days, adding that over 4.2 core people had given their feedback. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, having more than 100 urban local bodies, have been adjudged the second and third cleanest state in the country. In the category of states with less than 100 urban local bodies, Jharkhand has been ranked first, followed by Haryana and Goa. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel received the award for the country’s cleanest state from President Ram Nath Kovind at the event. The 10 top-ranked cleanest cities, having a population of more than one lakh, are Indore, Surat, Vijaywada, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Ambikapur, Tirupati, Pune, Noida and Ujjain. Lucknow has been ranked the lowest among 25 cities in the same category. According to the ministry, Vita has been ranked the cleanest city with less than one lakh population, followed by Lonavala and Sasvad. All the three cities are from Maharashtra. New Delhi Municipal Council secured the first position in the country’s cleanest small city category of 1-3 lakh population while Hoshangabad and Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) emerged as the “Fastest Mover small city” and “Best Small City in Citizens’ Feedback” categories, respectively. Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) with a jump of 274 ranks from 361st position in the 2020 rankings to the 87th position this year has also secured a place among the top 100 cities. Noida emerged as the country’s “cleanest medium city” in the category of 3-10 lakh population. Last year, Mysore had won this award. Indore, Navi Mumbai, Nellore and Dewas have emerged as the top performers in the category of ‘Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge’. Navi Mumbai also got the first position as India’s ‘cleanest big city’ in the category of 10-40 lakh population. In the category of cantonment boards, Ahmedabad was ranked the cleanest city, followed by Meerut and Delhi. Surat has bagged the first award in the district ranking category while Indore and New Delhi have secured second and third positions, respectively. Speaking at the event, President Kovind said that this year’s Swachh Survekshan Awards have special significance because the country is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. He noted that “Safai Mitras” and sanitation workers have continuously rendered their services even during the COVID-19 pandemic. On his part, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said the achievements under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) have been the result of unprecedented collective efforts. He said that today, the mission has taken the shape of a people’s movement, a true ‘Jan Andolan’. This is also reflected in the massive growth of the Swachh Survekshan which began as a pilot in 2016 among 73 cities, and is the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey today. The ministry said that assessment of 91 Ganga towns was also carried out by the Quality Council of India as part of the Swachh Survekshan 2021, a move that was aimed at evaluating the cleanliness and sanitation routine in and around the ghats, followed by the urban local bodies. assessment took place in March 2021, and covered a total of 588 ghats and 91 Ganga towns, after overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic, it said. The ministry said that level of cleanliness at ghats increased to 72 per cent this year from 62 per cent in 2020. According to the survey findings, 91 per cent of Ganga towns have no visible dumpsite while 52 per cent of such towns have no solid waste floating visible. Forty-one per cent of Ganga towns don’t have garbage vulnerable points and 32 per cent of such areas have sweeping and cleaning arrangements. Twenty-six per cent of Ganga towns have anti-littering messages around the ghats. On October 1, the Prime Minister had launched the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, asserting that these missions were aimed at making the cities garbage free and water secure.