While Madhya Pradesh’s Indore stole the limelight in Swachh Survekshan 2020 for being the cleanest city for the fourth year in a row, it was Maharashtra which was the real overall winner.
The western state dominated all four broad population-based categories – from big cities with 10 lakh plus people to small towns with less than 1 lakh population.
The Swachh Survekshan 2020 is the fifth edition of the survey that was introduced by PM Narendra Modi in January 2016. The annual nationwide cleanliness ranking exercise scrutinises cities and towns based on various cleanliness and hygiene parameters, including waste management, cleaning arrangement, sanitation, recycling, collection and transportation of litter.
Conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, this year’s survey included 4,242 cities, 64,315 wards, along with online feedback received from 1.8 crore citizens.
In the category of cities with over 10 lakh population, 47 urban local bodies were in the race. Indore maintained its winning streak. However, the grouping has 10 cities from Maharashtra, the highest, including Navi Mumbai at 3rd position followed by Nashik (11th), Thane (14th), Pune (15th), Nagpur (18th), Kalyan Dombivali (22nd), Pimpri Chinchwad (24th), Aurangabad (26th), Vasai Virar (32nd) and Greater Mumbai (35th).
Maharashtra was followed by Uttar Pradesh with seven cities. The PM’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi ranked 27th. The ancient city was adjudged the ‘best Ganga town’. Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have four cities each in the 10 lakh plus category.
Among cities with population of 1-10 lakh, 100 urban bodies were in the race. Here, too, Maharashtra with 27 cities led the list. Prominent cities in the category included Chandrapur, Dhule, Ambarnath, Mira-Bhayandar, Panvel, Jalna, Kolhapur, Amravati, Sangli and Akola among others. Madhya Pradesh followed Maharashtra with 20 cities in the list, while Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have 11, nine and eight cities, respectively, in the category.
Ironically, Gujarat’s Porbandar, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, ranked 100 under the category despite the Father of the Nation being the leading inspiration behind the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
In cities with over 1 lakh population, the broadest among the categories, Maharashtra’s 31 cities made up the list which surveyed 100 cities countrywide. Here too, Madhya Pradesh followed Maharashtra with 19 cities. Thirteen cities of Uttar Pradesh and eight cities each of Chhattisgarh and Gujarat find a place in the category.
However, Maharashtra’s real domination could be seen in the ‘below 1 lakh population’ category. Sixty towns from the state occupy the list of 100 under the category this year. In fact, of the top 10 clean towns under the category, the state has managed to find place for nine of its clusters and suburbs. This includes places like Satara’s Karad (1st), Sasvad township of Pune district (2nd), scenic hill station of Lonavala (3rd) and religious spots like Shirdi (7th).
Chhattisgarh followed Maharashtra under the category with 27 towns while Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were able to place seven and three towns, respectively.