BENGALURU: Amidst the ongoing political battle ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the ‘Swachh Survekshan’ survey seems to have been caught in it as Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the state government have accused the rankings of being ‘politically motivated’. After West Bengal, Bengaluru too may join the ranks of cities that will not participate in the cleanliness survey.
Bengaluru city bagged 194th rank out of 425 cities that had participated in the survey in the current financial year. BBMP officials claim that the surveyors have been biased in giving marks.
A BBMP official said, “We did not know when the surveyors came to the city and where they went. Though our records were perfect and we gave them detailed reports on the initiatives taken up in terms of Solid Waste Management (SWM) in the city, we still ended up with a bad rank. While we understand that we could not have been 1st, our performance was not so bad as to deserve 194th rank. This is disappointing.”
When TNIE spoke to Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, SWM, BBMP, he said, “We have no idea on what went wrong. We are the first city in the country to implement SWM Rules-2016 and we are way ahead than many other capital cities in the country in segregation at source. We have introduced smart cards for pourakarmikas, waste-to-energy plants in the city and yet we are not given the ranking that we deserved. This is really discouraging for the people working honestly.”
Deputy CM G Parameshwara said, “I have already said that this Survekshan is political in nature. We have introduced many reforms in SWM that other cities do not have. But still these rankings have been mocking genuine efforts and taking biased stands. I will consider options to not participate in this campaign from next year.”
In the overall rankings, only Mysuru city this year has managed to secure third place out of all cities and is the only city from Karnataka among the top 100 cities. Indore was ranked the cleanest city this year.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-profit organization based in Delhi, in its analysis on the current year’s Swachh Survekshan said, “It has definitely led to a paradigm shift by increasing awareness and involving citizens in sanitation and waste management issues. However, this year, the programme has been diluted because of political expediency.”
Srinivas Alavilli, Member, Citizens for Bengaluru, said, “It doesn’t look fair to me but what matters more is that we need a clean city with local ward level garbage management. With recent measures announced by BBMP, I’m sure we will improve both in real life and in such rankings.”