Delhi ranks poor in Swachh Survekshan 2021 survey

Heaps of garbage waiting for clearance at Mahindra Park in Delhi.  


Delhi’s three municipal corporations — North, South and East — continue to perform dismally in the Central Government’s annual cleanliness survey. This year too, two of the civic bodies found themselves in the last 10 of the rankings, while none of them scored a single point in the ‘garbage free city’ category.

According to the Swachh Survekshan 2021, under which the civic bodies were chosen in the category of cities with a population of more than 10 lakh, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has retained its previous ranking of 31 (out of 48). Last year, a total of 47 cities were scrutinised under the category.

However, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation has slipped from 43 to 45. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), on the other hand, was positioned at 40, a marginal improvement from the 2020 rankings when it was placed at 46.

The cities were ranked based on three parameters: service-level progress based on data provided by urban local bodies, certification based on waste management, sanitation — garbage free city and open defecation free (ODF) categories — and citizens feedback and engagement (citizen voice category).

No progress

Delhi ranks poor in Swachh Survekshan 2021 survey

In the ODF category for 2021, the North Delhi corporation scored zero, while the SDMC and the EDMC got 500 and 300 (out of 700) respectively. Last year, the North Delhi civic body scored a mere 100, while the South and East corporations got 300 and 200 (out of 500) respectively.

The civic bodies have got the abysmal scores despite announcing various initiatives to improve waste management and sanitation. These include segregation of waste at the doorstep, shutting down open three-walled garbage collection points (dhalaos), and moving towards fixed compactor transfer stations (FCTS) for processing waste.

SDMC Standing Committee chairman B.K. Oberoi (BJP) said that the initiatives are part of a “long-term project” and that their impact “will reflect in next year’s cleanliness rankings”.

“I do not think that this will affect our poll prospects. Most of our initiatives gained pace after this year’s cleanliness survey concluded. We have increased the number of vehicles for garbage collection and even the FCTS, but it will take time to reflect on the scorecard. Some initiatives were also delayed because of the pandemic. People are aware of the ground situation and they know that we are doing our bit,” Mr. Oberoi said.

EDMC Commissioner Vikas Anand said that the civic body is working to improve its performance for a better ranking in next year’s cleanliness survey.

Citizens’ feedback

North Delhi corporation Standing Committee chairman Jogi Ram Jain (BJP) said that the civic body has done “extremely well” in terms of citizens engagement and feedback.

At the Swachh Survekshan 2021 awards, the North Delhi civic body secured the top spot in the ‘citizen voice’ category and won the award for the “best mega city in citizens feedback”.

The corporation scored 1,201.96 (out of 1,800) in the category, which was slightly over 50% of its total score in the annual cleanliness survey. The South and East civic bodies fared equally well in the category, fetching 1,234.92 and 1,180.77 respectively.

However, SDMC Leader of Opposition Prem Chauhan (AAP) said that the citizens’ feedback “does not show the complete picture”.

“I am aware that a majority of people won’t dive deep into the survey scores but they will definitely notice the poor state of waste management and sanitation within their surroundings,” he said. As to why the civic body’s initiatives don’t reflect in areas of garbage collection and sanitation, Mr. Chauhan said it is simply because the corporation does not give a free hand to its officers.

“The execution is also poor and delayed. For instance, waste segregation is happening and people are ensuring that waste is being collected in the required manner. But when the waste goes to the FCTS, both wet and dry waste are processed together. This is among the many reasons why the BJP-led corporations have scored poorly in these categories; they have the facilities but fail at execution,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 4:57:20 AM |

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