Chennai fell from 61st rank last year to a poor 312 this year in the nation-wide annual cleanliness survey, Swachh Survekshan 2020.
The city only managed a score of 2,010 out of 6,000. The cleanest city, Indore, scored 5,647 out of 6,000. Chennai was also ranked 45th among the 47 cities with a population of more than 10 lakh in the country in 2020.
The only consolation was that it bagged the award for the country’s best mega city in adopting innovative and best practices in solid waste management.
The overall score of the Corporation came down because of citizens’ poor feedback, inadequate information, education, and communication (IEC) for behavioural changes, delay in resolution of complaints by residents on the Swachhata App and issues in disposal of waste, officials said.
Chennai scored just 23 out of 400 in complaint resolution on the Swachhata App.
The city’s residents have given only 334 marks out of 800 for solid waste managment practices. But the Corporation has scored 343 out of 500 in collection and transportation of waste, 358 out of 700 in waste processing and disposal, 386 out of 500 in sustainable sanitation and 45 out of 60 in capacity building.
Disaster management expert N. Mathavan said the State capital had to improve many key aspects of solid waste management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Best innovative practice
In a message, Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash said the award for Chennai was presented through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for the best innovative practice in solid waste management. It has been chosen among mega cities with a population of more than 40 lakh.
Chennai received the award owing to the initiatives taken to reduce dumping of waste in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur by promoting decentralised waste management, officials said.
At least 3,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste will be processed by decentralised waste processing units in various parts of the city in a few months.
The new private conservancy operator will start supply of waste for the decentralised units in a few months. Dumping of waste in Perungudi and Kodungaiyur will stop by December 2021, officials said. The city’s waste exchange project, which was launched last year, was also one of the innovations in solid waste management.
The city got a score of 62 out of 80 in the category of “Innovation and best practices,” which is two marks more than that of the cleanest city, Indore.