The story so far:
For the fifth year in a row, Indore has been named the cleanest city in the country by the Centre in its annual Swachh Survekshan . The sanitation survey and rankings were started in 2016 as a part of the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry’s flagship scheme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Indore bagged the award for the cleanest city among those with a population over 1 lakh. Over the years, the number of categories has been increased. For instance, instead of the categories of cities with population above and below 1 lakh, now the awards recognise cities in the 3-10 lakh category, mega-cities and even “Ganga cities”, for which Varanasi won the top award.
How the ranking works:
Every year, the Ministry announces the categories, marking pattern and field surveys to be carried out for the ranking. In 2021, the marking pattern was changed to give more weightage to “service level progress”, which includes segregated collection of garbage and processing, with 40% of the total 6,000 marks. Citizen’s voice and certifications like Open Defecation Free+ were given 30% weightage each. Last year, citizens feedback, service level process, certification and direct observation accounted for 25% each.
How Indore got the highest marks:
Indore scored 5,618.14 out of the total of 6,000 marks, with 1,600 marks for its certifications (it holds a 5 Star Garbage Free City and Water+ certifications for its processing of garbage and wastewater). These certifications, like the rankings, are given by the Ministry based on the progress on garbage processing and wastewater treatment by urban local bodies. Indore scored 1,704.76 in the category of citizen’s voice, while the national average was 860. This category includes direct feedback from residents, engagement with citizens and resolution of complaints.