Karnataka’s second city with a rich cultural heritage has been adjudged the cleanest in the country after Chandigarh, while Bangalore and Mangalore have bagged the 8th and 12th place, respectively.
According to a nationwide Union Urban Development Ministry exercise, called the National City Rating under the ambitious national urban sanitation policy, the rating task was conducted across 423 urban conglomerates, including 24 in Karnataka. The ministry’s policy initiative was part of an objective to create awareness on hygienic conditions in urban areas.
In Karnataka, Mandya (15th) and Bidar (22nd ) have found place among the 25 cleanest cities.
Shimoga, home town of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, was recorded as having a poor cleanliness standard, bagging 166th place. Of the 25 spic and span cities in the country, Surat, New Delhi Municipal areas and Delhi Cantonment, have been ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The benchmarks for the rating were keeping city free from open defecation, universal access to toilets for all, including the poor, elimination of manual scavenging, wastewater treatment, solid waste and storm water and recycle/reuse of treated wastewater with the ultimate objective of ensuring improved public health outcomes and environmental well-being.
The rating was carried out by three private agencies ––AC Nielsen-ORG Marg, Development and Research Services (DRS) and CEPT University –– who were selected in a competitive bidding.
The rating process, which was aimed at encouraging urban local bodies as well as people living in urban areas on how well they maintained cleanliness and general hygiene on the sanitation scale, found that there was no manual scavenging in the 423 cities, Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy said while announcing the results here on Monday.
Karnataka’s towns like as Udupi, Chikmaglur, Hospet,Bijapur, Belgaum, Gangavathi, Hassan, Robertsonpet, Gulbarga, Kolar, Bellary, Badravathi, Tumkur, Hubli-Dhawad, Raichur and Gadag-Betigeri, received less than 45 on a scale of hundred.
Of the 24 surveyed cities in Karnataka, Chitradurga and Davangere have been ranked 355th and 357th position, respectively, suggesting that these two need urgent attention from the Government on the hygiene front.
Interestingly, none of the Indian cities could cross 91 points which was the bar on the cleanliness scale.