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Swachh Hygiene Index

Indian Cities Rated On The Hygiene Index

Hygiene Index developed in support of the Central Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission by Reckitt & Benckiser and Ernst & Young, assesses the performance of Indian cities in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sectors

Swachh Hygiene Index
  • The Hygiene Index also includes capacity-building workshops
  • Pune Municipality and New Delhi Municipal Corporation: Highest Performers
  • NDMC is bringing technology in a massive way to improve the efficiency

New Delhi: The Hygiene Index is a tool that assesses the performance of Indian cities in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sectors, identifies gaps, analyses the best practices, and rates every city under the campaign, on a scale one to five. The Hygiene Index has been developed in support of the Central Government’s Swachh Bharat Mission by Reckitt & Benckiser, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ernst & Young (EY), which evaluates parameters that can help guide cities in the direction of better sanitation and hygiene. 

 Measurements are very important so we thought can we have something in place which is call to action and therefore this like big idea like to make India which is a transformational society to have hygiene index in place to have certain indicators from the wash sector and health sector, said Ravi Bhatnagar, Head External Affairs & Partnerships from Reckitt & Benckiser.

The Hygiene Index comprises not only the hygiene assessment of cities but also capacity-building workshops with city administrators.

There are six areas of evaluation:

  • Solid waste management (SWM)
  • Sewage
  • Availability and state of toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Health parameters; and
  • Behavioral change communication

In its first phase, the Hygiene Index covers these 10 cities: Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Bhopal, Gandhinagar, Nagpur, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Pune, Raipur, Udaipur, and Varanasi. 

Also Read: Behaviour Change Communication: Innovative Ways In Which People Are Changing Mindsets About Swachhta

Eventually, the Index will monitor 100 cities.

When we decided to look at something like a Hygiene Index, which tracks six parameters, our intent essentially is to make it a tool for all the municipal commissioners to sort of understand what results are being achieved, for the initiatives they are taking and where is it that they are lacking, said Pankaj Chadha, Partner and Principal at Ernst & Young.

The Pune Municipality area and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation area have been identified as the highest-performing cities, both in terms of investment and execution. These can lead the purpose of the campaign, and emerge as replicable examples

The New Delhi Municipal Corporation, basically the diplomatic, political and power avenues of Lutyens in South Delhi, with 27,000 houses has a stellar performance in water and solid waste management and 100% of the households directly receive treated drinking water. All the houses are also directly connected to the sewage network. However, NMDC lags behind in its investment in promoting behavioral change and healthy habits.

Naresh Kumar, Chairman, New Delhi Municipal Corporation is happy with the assessment. “This is a very good thing that the hygiene index has been introduced so that we know where we stand. And once we know where we stand, then definitely any organisation or any stakeholder can take the measures to improve upon it’, he said.

Also Read:  Swachh Hygiene Index: How Close Are We To The Dream Of A Swachh Bharat?

NDMC is bringing technology in a massive way to improve the efficiency. We are bringing our entire health administrative system on a digital platform, which we are calling the E-Hospital. You can actually see how many people we have seen in the OPD today, which doctor has seen how many patients in a day and what medicines we have distributed to the patient, Mr Kumar added.

Pune Municipality, the other top-performing city, has just over 10 lakh houses, all of which have toilets. The city has enough public toilet seats to cater to an approximate 93% of the floating population, 76% houses directly receive clean drinking water. The sewage system covers almost 100% of the city. The city performs well in terms of efficiency of collection of solid waste and coverage of household SWM services and is disposing its waste in the designated landfill sites.

Pune Municipal Commissioner, Kunal Kumar told NDTV, Pune always been a progressive city, and no progress is possible without hygiene and cleanliness and that extend we are very happy to have made to the top of the list. There are lots of new projects, in fact, inclusion of IT, management practices, and creation of more sanitation facilities, upgrading sanitation facilities to a level to which people can aspire for.

 Hygiene Index Score Of The Other 8 Cities 

  • AHMEDABAD: 3.9/5
  • NAGPUR: 3.72/5
  • GANDHINAGAR: 3.56/5
  •  BHOPAL: 3.39/5
  •  ALLAHABAD: 3.3/5
  •  VARANASI: 3.15/5
  • UDAIPUR: 3.09/5
  • RAIPUR: 2.80/5

Gujarat’s largest city and economic hub, in Ahmedabad, all of the city’s 1.4 million households have access to toilets, and 90% households are part of a network that provides them with clean water and links them to direct sewage lines. Like most cities, the biggest gap for Ahmedabad is its lackluster commitment to creating behavioral change 

Nagpur largely is on the right track. 83% households have individual toilets, and there are enough public and community toilets to cater to about 80% of its floating population. In terms of solid and liquid waste management, door-to-door solid waste collection services reach 76% of the households and Nagpur has the capacity to treat 78% of its sewage. However, the city fares poorly in the ‘health’ parameter. 

In Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, 42,000 of its 49,000 households get clean water, while 86% of its households are linked to main sewage lines. However, more attention needs to be paid to building public toilets and behavioral change communication.

Also Read: Spearheading A Social Revolution: Meet The Professor From Gujarat Who Built 6,000 Toilets In 34 Villages

Bhopal can be considered a star performer in some aspects. Most households have their own toilets, there are enough public toilets to cater to the entire floating population. Every bit of solid waste that is generated is collected but it has no treatment plants for its solid waste. Bhopal’s sewage system is very poor.

Allahabad fares well in the areas of clean water, toilets, and sewage. However, while it spends 41%, on solid waste management, its performance in this area remains poor, because more than half of the city’s households are not covered by door-to-door collection

Prime Minister’s very own constituency, a city that is constantly in focus for efforts to clean the Ganga, Varanasi finds itself low in the Hygiene Index. Only 30% households have direct access to drinking water, and only a negligible number of households are connected to the main sewage networks.

Udaipur seriously lags behind in solid waste, sewerage and behavior change communication sectors. What it has got right are toilets. The city performs better than the average score for all cities for both household toilets and public toilets, which are adequate for the entire floating population 

Raipur sits right at the bottom. It has an extremely poor sewage system, 59% households don’t get direct clean water supply, and its door-to-door solid waste collection coverage is simply inadequate. Yet, Raipur performs quite well in the behavioral change communication segment. And, its nearly two-lakh houses have toilets, and there are enough public toilets to cater to the floating population.

Also Read: Raipur’s Open Defecation Free Mantra: Villagers Turn Entrepreneurs By Converting Waste To Wealth

We are going high on the behavioral change aspect and since we have older sewage network, which is as such defunct right now, and limited sewerage coverage in that aspect. We are going to decentralize septic management approach and with the smarty-city intent initiatives we will able to do that in the next one to two years, said, Rajat Bansal of Municipal Commissioner of Raipur. 

Mark Peters from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said, “The first thing we need to do becomes aware of the needs of the community. Well, of course, every city is unique across India and across the world. But I think three things that carry throughout all cities is that there is a need to engage, there is a need to understand and there is a need for focused and effective implementation. In terms of engagement, first of all, we need cities to have the tools and abilities to reach out to their communities, to seek input and understand how they can effectively address their citizen’s needs”. 

The Hygiene Index by Swachh India has been developed in support of the Swachh Bharat Mission, and evaluates various parameters that can help nudge cities in the direction of better sanitation and hygiene.

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