Most In­dian cities far from seg­re­gat­ing waste at source

Down to Earth - - Digest -

THE GOV­ERN­MENT re­cently re­leased the Swachh Survek­shan 2020 re­port, with much fan­fare. The re­port, how­ever, high­lights a pe­cu­liar prob­lem: only 35 per cent cities are seg­re­gat­ing waste at source in at least 50 per cent of its wards. This per­cent­age is sub­stan­tially lower than what the gov­ern­ment has so far main­tained. The Out­put Out­come Frame­work 2020-21, re­leased in Fe­bru­ary by the Union Min­istry of Fi­nance to sug­gest ex­pen­di­ture re­forms, ob­serves 74 per cent wards in the coun­try were on track to fol­low 100 per cent source seg­re­ga­tion by March 2020. It says that un­der Swachh Bharat Mis­sion-Ur­ban, the coun­try has achieved 100 per cent source seg­re­ga­tion in 63,000 of the 82,000 wards in the coun­try.

In con­trast, the Survek­shan re­port, which has cov­ered 4,242 cities that have a com­bined ward strength of 64,315, claims only 1,476 cities are seg­re­gat­ing at least 50 per cent waste at source. The sur­vey was con­ducted in Jan­uary 2020 and the fi­nance min­istry re­port takes data till March 31, 2020. So for both the re­ports to be cor­rect, the coun­try must have added nearly 40,000 more wards to the seg­re­ga­tion at source list in just three months. The Survek­shan re­port does not di­vulge city­wise de­tails on source seg­re­ga­tion.

Sim­i­larly, it claims that 2,606 cities prac­tise door-to-door garbage col­lec­tion in more than 50 per cent of the wards, whereas the Swachh Bharat Mis­sion–Ur­ban dash­board, ac­cessed on Au­gust 21, claims 4,372 cities (that cover 81,875 wards) are prac­tis­ing 100 per cent door-to-door garbage col­lec­tion. This also seems ex­tremely am­bi­tious and un­likely.

The Survek­shan re­port has once again de­clared In­dore as the clean­est city, fol­lowed by Su­rat and Navi Mum­bai among cities with more than a mil­lion pop­u­la­tion. Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Karad, Saswad and Lon­avala bagged the first three po­si­tions for cities with pop­u­la­tion less than 100,000. Among the cities with pop­u­la­tion be­tween 100,000 and 1 mil­lion, Ch­hat­tis­garh’s Am­bika­pur was de­clared the clean­est, fol­lowed by Mysore in Kar­nataka. Ch­hat­tis­garh is the first and the only state where every city has achieved open defe­ca­tion free++ sta­tus.

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