North and South Corporations slip in cleanliness rankings

Results of the Swachh Survekshan 2019 released on Tuesday threw up a mixed bag for Delhi with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation seeing wide swings in their rankings.

The South and East Corporation’s rankings changed by over 100 points each. While the SDMC’s rank fell to 138 this year from 32 last year, the EDMC rank rose from 338 last year to 240 this year. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation also saw a drop in its rankings from 206 last year to 282 this year.

On the other hand the New Delhi Municipal Council which ranked fifth this year and the Delhi Cantonment, were both given awards for the ‘cleanest small city’ and ‘cleanest cantonment’ respectively.

Total surveys

The survey was carried out by the Swachh Bharat Mission team at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and Karvy — a data management system company. Up to 4,237 urban local bodies were surveyed between 4 January and 31 January 2019.

Based on 4 categories

The rankings were finalised based on scores given under four categories. The categories included, ‘direct observation’ by members of the surveying team through field visits, ‘citizen feedback’, ‘service level progress’ which involved checking claims made by Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) by verifying documentation provided by them and ‘certification’, which was introduced this year. Under the certification category, ULBs were given scores based on whether they were given a star rating for proper sanitation and whether they were ‘open defecation free’. This certification was awarded by a third-party agency, Kantar Public which undertook its surveys between mid-December 2018 and end of January 2019.

The three municipal corporations performed especially poorly in this category with the North and East Corporations being awarded 25 points for being ‘self declared ODF’ and the South Corporation was awarded 100 points for being ‘ODF with failure’. Compared to this, the national average was 208 points.

Local bodies were marked out of 1,250 points under each category, totalling a score of 5,000. The SDMC scored 2,641 points, the EDMC 2,094 points and the North Delhi Corporation scored only 1,901 points. Indore, which secured the top rank for the second year in a row, scored 4,659 points.

Condemning the big drop in the SDMC’s rankings, AAP councillor and Leader of the Opposition Praveen Kumar said that the corporation only did any work during the survey period and expected to improve its rankings. “If the system is not good then how will cleanliness be ensured?” he asked. Officials and ruling BJP councillors could not be reached for comments. A senior EDMC official noted that the rankings had improved in spite of facing a month-long strike by sanitation workers and financial constraints.