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Swachh Survekshan 2017: Uttar Pradesh’s Poor Performance Is A Cause For Concern, Says Venkaiah Naidu

With Gonda bagging the title of India’s dirtiest city and 25 of its cities and towns finding spots in the bottom 50 of the recently released Swachh Survekshan, Uttar Pradesh emerged as the poorest performing state

'Most Polluted' Ganga Valley Gets Help, Scientists From 15 Nations
  • The Swachh Survekshan found that UP is home the most number of dirty cities
  • 25 of the state's cities featured in the bottom 50 of the survey
  • The only city in UP which has performed well is Varanasi

New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh has the most number of dirty cities in India. This became official with the release of the latest Swachh Survekshan earlier today by Minister of Urban Development, M Venkaiah Naidu. Out of the 50 cities at the bottom of the table of the survey that covered 434 cities, 25 cities were from Uttar Pradesh. In fact, Gonda in Uttar Pradesh which is some 100 kilometres from Lucknow bagged the title of India’s dirtiest city. The nationwide survey which evaluates and ranks cities based on cleanliness highlights how India’s largest state seems to be faring quite poorly on the sanitation and cleanliness front. This is something that Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu has said is a “cause for concern”.

Read More: Swachh Survekshan 2017: These Are India’s Cleanest And Dirtiest Cities

Speaking at the release of the survey’s finding in the Capital today, Mr Naidu said that Uttar Pradesh’s performance in the Swachh Survekshan was alarming considering the fact that the state housed a sixth of the country’s population.

“We will be going to Uttar Pradesh tomorrow to hold discussions about the implementation of the central government’s schemes, including the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,” the Minister said.

Under the Swachh Survekshan, 62 cities in Uttar Pradesh have been surveyed and evaluated. Of these, 41 are in the bottom hundred and four cities—Gonda, Hardoi, Shahjahanpur and Khurja—are in the list of 10 dirtiest cities among the 434 total cities and towns which participated.

Painfully Slow Progress

A look at the number of toilets built since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014 highlights the state’s painfully slow progress.

At the time of writing this story, the Ministry of Urban development’s Swachh Bharat Urban dashboard states that of the 22,54,638 applications received for the construction of the individual household toilets only 68,988 have been constructed so far. This is a conversion rate of mere 3 per cent of the number of applications that have been received.

It is worth noting that the state’s newly elected Chief Minister, Yogi Aditanath, has set an ambitious target of making the state open defecation free by October 2018 and has banned the use of pan and tobacco products in schools, colleges, hospitals and other government buildings to stop people from staining walls with betel juice. Additionally, on taking office, he had asked government officials to take a sanitation pledge to implement the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Read More: Open Defecation Free UP: Will Yogi Adityanath’s October 2018 Deadline End State’s Sanitation Woes?

Varanasi: A Lone Example

However, there is one city that seems to be doing well. The only star in Uttar Pradesh’s lackluster performance is Varanasi. According to the Swachh Survekshan’s findings, the city which is also Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency has made a significant amount of effort to improve its performance on the sanitation and cleanliness front. Varanasi jumped to the 32nd rank this year from 2014’s 418th place.

In fact, at number 32 not only is Varanasi Uttar Pradesh’s highest ranked city but it is also the only entrant from the state in India’s top 50 cleanest cities and was adjudged the ‘Fastest Moving City’ in terms of cleanliness in the North Zone among cities with a population of more than 10 lakhs.

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