BENGALURU: The Swachh Survekshan report released on Wednesday has brought some bitter-sweet tidings for the state. While Karnataka managed to retain the 14th position among the states, Mysuru managed improve its ranking from 8th to 3rd place among the top 100 clean cities.
Bengaluru too slightly improved its position at 194 against 216 last year. But the shocker was Mangaluru city which has slid from a ranking of 52 last year to 165 in the current survey. Periyapatna and KR Nagar towns in Mysuru district scored first and third place, respectively, in South zone under the less than one lakh population category while Hunsur in Mysuru district was placed seventh in South zone in the 50,000-1 lakh population category.
Hosadurga town in Chitradurga district was ranked eighth rank in South zone in the under 25,000 to 50,000 population category. Also, T Narasipur in Mysuru district was ranked 11th while Mulki in Dakshina Kannada was ranked 50th in South zone in the less than 25,000 population category.
But there still seems to be a long way to go. Civic evangelist V Ravichandar holds public attitude responsible for many of the ills in cities, specially Bengaluru. “If people do not have the pride in the city and take ownership, cleanliness in Bengaluru will not improve. Enforcing the law or monitoring violations is one part, but the mindset of people should change. They should stop using plastic bags or plastic materials, avoid littering, segregate waste, among other things,” he said.
The Karnataka government had banned use of plastic below 40 microns in 2015 and, a year later, banned the use and manufacturing of plastic bags of any thickness. Since then, authorities have been conducting raids and seizing plastic materials, mostly targeting bulk producers and vendors.
Ramakanth, member of the Expert Committee on Solid Waste Management, blamed lack of political will. “Karnataka is not able to show any significant improvement in its ranking is because waste management is ruled by the mafia, which, in turn, is backed by political leaders. Unless there is political will in enforcing the rules, we cannot see a better Karnataka,’’ he added.