The city had a poor showing in the Swachh Survekshan 2020 survey ranking announced by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry on Thursday. Its rank slipped further down to 214 from 194 last year.
This year, the city got 2,656.82 points out of 6,000. However, Bengaluru emerged as the winner in the best ‘Self-Sustainable Mega City’ (over 40 lakh population) category scoring 1,491.42 points out of 3,200. Also, among Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) with more than 10 lakh population, Bengaluru was placed 37 (out of 47 ULBs).
For the overall national rankings, there were four categories, with each category having a total of 1,500 points. The city scored 750.48 points in the citizen feedback category, 703.91 points in service level progress, 702.44 points in direct observation, and 500 points in the certification score category.
Citizen activists and residents’ welfare associations have expressed disappointment and concern over the poor performance. Waste management expert V. Ramprasad said that the dip in rankings showed that the city was failing to adhere to the basic fundamental concepts of solid waste management, such as door-to-door collection of segregated waste, transportation and processing.
“Secondly, instead of following other models, we have to have our own model. Rather than importing external experts, we need to tap into local city experts and universities and institutes, which are also affected by the poor ranking. It is unfortunate that the city, which comparatively has the best citizen practices, is not concentrating in implementing this,” he said.
Notably, among the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) with more than 1 lakh population, only Mysuru from the State figured in the top 25. With an overall score of 5,298.61, Mysuru made it to the 5th position. Mysuru was also ranked the cleanest among medium sized cities with population between 3 and 10 lakh.
N. Manjunath Prasad, Commissioner, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), said that the civic body would improve the performance in the 2021 Survey. “In January this year, we started ranking divisions based on segregation levels. Fine collection was implemented from July,” he said, and added that the civic body would be increasing the capacity of processing plants and taking feedback from citizens.
Waste management expert N.S. Ramakanth said that this was an example of a lack of political will in strictly framing and implementing a robust system.“We have failed in implementing and enforcing the best practices we have as there is a lack of collective responsibility among our politicians and also among a section of our population,” he said.