SHIMLA: Mandi in Himachal Pradesh is the cleanest district followed by Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, according to the first-ever survey of rural areas among 75 short-listed districts across the country.
The survey was conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) on behalf of the sanitation ministry covering nearly 70,000 household across 2,530 villages. It was released by drinking water and sanitation minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday . The report has ranked districts under two categories – districts in north-east and hill states and districts in plains.
However, in the overall score of all the 75 districts Mandi got 98.4 out of 100 marks while Sindhudurg got a score of 96.8.
Interestingly, while nine out of top 10 districts in the hill states are from Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, in plain areas, eight of the top ranking 10 are from Maharashtra and Bengal. Gurgaon ranked 40 among the 53 districts in the plain areas.
The three-month-long survey and ranking was done based on four indicators – percentage of households having access to safe toilets and using them, percentage of household having no litter around, cleanliness around public places and households having no stagnant water around.
The survey report shows while toilet coverage is better and there is negligible littering around individual houses, litter was found in more than 50% of public places surveyed both in hill and other districts.Littering in public places is a major issue not just in rural but urban areas as well.
“We covered most aspects of Swachh Bharat mission and not just availability and usage of toilets.We also found how usage of safe toilets is over 90%, which is encouraging,” sanitation secretary Parameswaran Iyer said.
Tomar said the intention behind making this survey report public is to have greater competition among states and districts to make them cleaner.
The sanitation ministry also released the ranking of 26 states based on the survey done by NSSO last year, which took into account percentage of households having sanitary toilets and using them. While Sikkim topped the list, Jharkhand came last in the ranking.