Jammu and Srinagar, the capital cities of J&K Union Territory, have improved their rankings in Swachh Survekshan 2020 rankings released on Thursday.
Even the Leh city of the Ladakh Union Territory has performed better on the cleanliness front and its ranking has also improved considerably as compared to the previous years. However, Anantnag’s position has plummeted in the latest survey which is a big question mark on the performance of the Urban Local Bodies.
The Swachh Survekshan is aimed at fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and towards creating cleaner cities and bring behaviour changes in the citizens towards cleaning.
The primary goal of Swachh Survekshan is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities better places to reside in.
As per the results announced by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the ranking of Srinagar city has improved remarkably. In 2019, the ranking of Srinagar city was 357th but it has achieved the position of 36th under Swachh Survekshan-2020, which is the recognition of the efforts made by the administration in ensuring cleanliness and sanitation. In 2018, the ranking of Srinagar city was 281 while as in 2017 the same was 241.
Similarly, the Jammu city has moved up the ladder as compared to last year’s rank. In 2019, the ranking of Jammu was 329th while as under the fresh survey it has stepped up to 224th position, which is considered as significant improvement although the same is less than the ranking of 2018 when it was 212.
However, the ranking of Anantnag has declined to 271 under the fresh survey as compared to Swachh Survekshan of 2019 when the ranking was 258. This is a blot on the performance of the concerned Urban Local Bodies as despite sufficient funds being released by the Government of India the cleanliness has not improved up to the desired level. On the other side, the Tangmarg has improved its ranking from 335th in 2019 to 274th under Swachh Survekshan-2020.
As far as Ladakh Union Territory is concerned, the ranking of Leh city has also improved considerably under Swachh Survekshan-2020 as compared to the ranking in the year 2018 as the last year the survey was not conducted there.
In the year 2018, the ranking of Leh city was 250th but in 2020 its ranking has improved to 209th, which indicates that all out efforts were made during the past two years to improve the cleanliness in the Leh city.
The few parameters of Swachh Survekshan – 2020 were source segregation of waste, door to door garbage collection, social entrepreneur model where waste pickers were integrated in value chain thus providing employment to them, dry waste collection and wet waste processing facility.
“No doubt the capital cities of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have improved their performance significantly but there is no scope for complacency and constant efforts are required not only to maintain the present position but to further improve the rankings in the future Swachh Survekshan”, observers said.
Moreover, the administration particularly the Housing and Urban Development Department, which has administrative control over Urban Local Bodies, is required to make constant efforts so that more cities of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir figure in the national rankings in the future Swachh Survekshan. “Even people are supposed to extend required cooperation to the Urban Local Bodies in ensuring cleanliness and sanitation”, they stressed.
It is pertinent to mention here that Swachh Survekshan being conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs since 2016 is the world’s largest urban sanitation and cleanliness survey and is a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large-scale citizen participation.