Madhya Pradesh's Indore has been ranked the cleanest city for the fourth consecutive year under the Swachh Survekshan 2020, the center's annual survey on cleanliness under the Swachh Bharat Mission, announced on Thursday.
Surat in Gujarat and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra were ranked second and third, respectively. In the category of population of less than 1 lakh, Maharashtra's Karad bagged the first position, followed by Saswad and Lonavala.
Chhattisgarh was ranked the cleanest state of India in the 'under 100 Urban Local Bodies' category while Jharkhand was adjudged the cleanest state of India in the 'above 100 Urban Local Bodies' category.
The announcement of this year's results was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry of housing and urban affairs said. The survey, which covered 4,242 cities and saw the participation of 1.87 crore citizens, was completed in 28 days.
"When the Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) was launched in 2014, it was with the objective of making urban India 100% open defecation free (ODF) along with 100% scientific solid waste management. With no concept of ODF in urban areas and solid waste processing standing at a mere 18%, it was clear that an accelerated approach was necessary if the Hon'ble Prime Minister's dream of a Swachh India was to be achieved within the timeframe of five years," Union housing minister Hardeep Puri said during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
Puri said, "A framework was therefore needed to bring about rigour in the progress in monitoring and a spirit of healthy competition among states and cities to improve their performance in key cleanliness parameters. This underlying thought led to the conceptualisation and subsequent implementation of the Swachh Survekshan (SS), a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large-scale citizen participation."
The minister further stated that the mainstreaming of informal waste workers, provision of social security schemes and safety gear to all sanitation workers, dignity, recognition, and welfare of sanitation workers and their families was accorded due importance adding that the survey team visited over 58,000 residential and over 20,000 commercial areas covering over 64,000 wards—all in 28 days.