Ghaziabad bagged the 18th rank for cleanliness in the list of cleanest cities having a population between a million and 4,000,000 in the Swachh Suvekshan 2021, the results of which were announced on Saturday. During the previous Swachh Survekshan survey, the city ranked 19 while it secured the 13th rank in the cleanliness survey held in 2019.
Officials said non-availability of land for setting up a landfill to process waste and lapses in solid waste management hampered the prospects of Ghaziabad in improving its rank in the cleanliness survey.
On Saturday, President Ram Nath Kovind handed over awards to representatives of the cleanest cites of the country at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’ hosted by the ministry of housing and urban affairs as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
Indore in Madhya Pradesh emerged as the winner in the list of cleanest cities having a population between a million and 4,000,000. Overall, 48 cities from across the country competed under this category.
In the survey, total 6,000 points are awarded to participating cities based on multiple criteria. Under the category of cities having a population ranging between a million and 4,000,000, Ghaziabad city scored 4,220.9 points, which is the second highest in Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow secured the top spot in UP in the same category with an overall score of 4,586.17 points.
“The city secured All India Rank of 18 and also received two more awards. We received a 3-star rating for ‘garbage-free city’ (GFC) from the previous 1-star. We will strive for a 5-star rating in the next cleanliness survey,”said municipal commissioner M S Tanwar.
“The second award is a national award for ‘best big city in innovation and best practices.’ For this, we tried to eliminate all open solid waste dumping points across the city and also took the initiative of recycling plastic. We also took up initiatives for ‘dust-free’ Ghaziabad. We lost major points in the competition due to non-availability of landfill site. To achieve this, we are trying to decentralise our garbage processing facilities,” he added.
In January, 2019, the Uttar Pradesh solid waste monitoring committee directed shutdown of the landfill site at Pratap Vihar, where garbage used to be processed. Since then, the city is facing a major issue in dumping and processing solid waste. According to official estimates, the city generates about 1,200 metric tonnes of waste every day, and there is a shortfall in processing about 700 metric tonnes of solid waste.
“To overcome this, we are trying to initiate work at our waste to energy plant at Galand; the work is likely to start next year. We are also trying to plug the gap of a shortfall of about 300 vehicles, which are to be used for door-to-door collection of solid waste. Of this, 100 vehicles will arrive in the next 15 days. We have sent a proposal to the state administration to sanction ₹21 crore for procuring 224 more vehicles. Once these gaps are plugged, we hope our rank will improve,” said the civic chief.
Currently, the city has 250 vehicles for door-to-door collection of solid waste collection, which operate in 100 residential wards.
The first edition of the ‘Swachh Survekshan’ survey was launched in 2016, with 73 cities in the country participating in the event. This year, the number of participating countries went up to 4,320.
A total of 6,000 points are awarded to participating cities on the basis of service level progress (segregated collection, processing and disposal and sustainable sanitation), certifications (GFC for star rating, ODF+/ODF++/Water+) and citizen’s voice (feedback engagement, experience, Swachhta App and innovation and best practices). Ghaziabad officials said the city already achieved an ODF++ ranking earlier this year.