When Narendra Modi officially launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October, 2014 at Rajghat, New Delhi, speculations were rife that it would do no good to the country. But after almost 4 years, the results of the campaign have started showing. The states have started taking the issue of cleanliness very much seriously and have come out with amazing outcomes.
Swachhta Survekshan 2018, which was the first pan Indian exercise to assess cleanliness in urban India, surveyed 4,203 cities from January 4 to March 10, 2018. The results of the survey were announced on 30th July, 2018 by Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri. He was quoted saying, “It is indeed heartening to see that this process of annual survekshans have managed to galvanise citizens to become our partners in progress.”
The Ministry of Urban Development released the report which declared Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh as the top three states of India in terms of cleanliness and sanitation. Jharkhand was awarded the ‘1st Best Performing State’, followed by Maharashtra and Chattisgarh which were named as 2nd and 3rd performing states in the rankings.
Jharkhand has set an example for other states by grabbing five Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) awards under various categories for Ranchi, Giridih, Pakur, Chaibasa and Bundu. It also ranked number 1 in the overall average score, Service Level Progress and Direct Observation average score. It stood at the 2nd rank in Citizens’ Engagement under less than 1 Lakh population category amongst all the states. 41 ULBs, out of all participant ULBs of the state, were certified as Open Defecation Free. Surprisingly, Jharkhand became the first state to tag all its Community & Public toilets through Google Toilet Locators which worked wonders against the menace of open defecation and helped eliminating it.
Maharashtra also fared well in the survey. 43 out of 267 participating ULBs were with a population category greater than 1 Lakh. The remaining 224 (including 7 Cantonment Boards), were with less than 1 Lakh population. Panchgani, Shirdi, Katol, Malkapur and Lonavala were declared to be the top 5 ULBs. 28 ULBs, out of the 43 were positioned in top 100 rank. The state also ranked 2nd in the overall average score, Service Level Progress and Direct Observation average score. It secured the 1st rank in Citizens Engagement under the less than 1 Lakh population category amongst all other states.
Chattisgarh won many accolades for being the third cleanest state of India. From 9 ULBs that participated in 2017, this year the state had 168 participating ULBs. It has now been certified as a state that is Open Defecation Free. A total of 1375 Community and Public toilets were constructed for the convenience of the citizens to control the problem of open defecation. Almost all of these toilets were mapped on Google Maps as well.
The cleanliness of the states has given rise to a competition among them. This has resulted in the citizens getting involved in the swachhta campaign with full enthusiasm and has made them realise about their responsibility towards their surroundings and the city. With SwachhAbility reaching out to the smaller cities, the dream of Swachh Bharat will soon be achieved.