The Swachh Survekshan (Annual Survey of Cleanliness) 2020, whose results were announced on Thursday, found that areas that come under three civic bodies in Delhi are among the country's filthiest places.
Barring Lutyens zone, the rest faced dismal ranking in the study — South Delhi Corporation ranked 31st, East 46th, among 47 cities which were surveyed, and North Delhi Corporation held the 43rd position.
NDMC, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, which doesn't have the same electoral system as the other three, won Delhi the "Cleanest Capital City Award" in the category of cities with a population ranging between 1-10 lakh.
The NDMC nestles mainly the Lutyens Delhi area which contains the most important administrative buildings of India, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Supreme Court, and Parliament.
While the results reflect how poorly managed the National Capital is, heads of two corporations downplayed it.
East Delhi Corporation Mayor Nirmal Jain blamed the change in criteria as a reason behind the abysmal ranking, claiming their performance has improved.
To note, this year a category for cities having more than one million population was introduced to level the playing field.
Jain also blamed the Delhi government, run by AAP for not releasing funds on time. Likewise, Anamika Mithilesh, SDMC's Chief, also pointed towards the "slight improvement" in ranking compared to 2019.
But North Corporation's Jai Prakash took the matter more seriously saying that a meeting will be held soon. He said a lot has been done, but waste segregation at source remains a challenge.
"Though we have been working hard to clear dhalaos (garbage dumps) located on the main roads and have set up new compost plants, we need to improve segregation of waste at the source," Prakash told HT.
Giving her opinion on the rankings, Swati Sambyal, a Delhi-based waste management expert, said they reflect lack of a proper waste management system among the Delhi corporations and the faulty practice of dumping waste in "dhalaos" (concrete structures for holding waste).
These dhalaos should be turned into proper waste processing centers, she said, adding that sustainable waste management is the need of the hour.
Expressing disappointment at the dismal performance, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked all three Municipal Corporations to work harder and show better results in the next survey.
"Work hard. Sad to see the latest ranking of Delhi's three municipal corporations in the cleanliness survey," he was quoted as saying.
Incidentally, all three civic bodies are controlled by the BJP.
To recall, the results for the Swachh Survekshan 2020 were announced by India's Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Thursday.
A total of 129 cities and states were awarded for cleanliness as part of the drive, which began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Indore became the cleanest city for a consecutive fourth time.
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