Swachh show: City cuts a dirty figure again

Garbage trippers in Bengaluru. Photo by S K Dinesh

The city once again cut a sorry figure in the Swachh Survekshan survey for 2019. There was, however, some upward movement in terms of ranking — from 216 last year to 194.

The results announced by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Wednesday put Karnataka at the 14th place, below Andhra Pradesh (6), Telangana (8) and Tamil Nadu (12). Mysuru, however, brought some solace to the state, becoming the third cleanest city among over 450 cities with more than 10 lakh population. Mangaluru was in the 165th position.

Officials said poor garbage management and the delay in getting open defecation-free certification were the major reasons behind Bengaluru’s low rank.

The BBMP’s failure to enforce segregation of garbage had a major bearing. Financial sustainability of local bodies and the adoption of innovative and best practices were
some of the parameters in which the city could have fared better.

V Ravichander, an expert in urban affairs, said that at its basic level, cleanliness of the city was directly dependent on people’s participation.

“In my view, citizens have to take pride in the city and develop civic responsibility. This will put the officials on alert as well. Indore is scoring high because citizens take pride in their city,” he said.

The Madhya Pradesh city was adjudged India’s cleanest for the third straight year.

Referring to the issue of open defecation, Ravichander said Bengaluru was once lauded for its public toilet facilities. “Two decades ago, the city was known for its ‘Nirmala toilets’. The population exploded in the coming years, but the number of toilets stagnated. Even the existing ones are poorly maintained,” he said.

Responding to the ranking, BBMP special commissioner (Administration, Health, SWM, AH, Welfare) D Randeep said implementation of programmes needs to be improved further. “We have done our best to be in the top ranking of the survey. But a few programmes have not been properly implemented. I hope we will get good rankings next year,” he said.

Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said, “The rankings will improve after we implement ward-wise contract to collect garbage, increase the number of marshals to look after illegal garbage dumping and collect garbage from home. This will be done without fail soon.”

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Swachh show: City cuts a dirty figure again

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