Madhya Pradesh's top two cities, Indore and Bhopal have been rated number 1 and 2 respectively in the country in a survey conducted by the Urban Development Ministry under the Swacha Bharat Abhiyan. Indore was rated 25 last year while Bhopal was ranked 21.
So what brought about the massive jump in rankings with Indore moving 24 places and replacing Mysuru as the cleanest city in the country?
It was a mix of awareness, implementation of laws and some deft administrative thinking on part of civic authorities in Indore and Bhopal that helped the cities move up in rankings over 2016.
"We decided to move to a garbage bin free approach to cleanliness," said Commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation, Manish Singh, adding that having no bins made the door to door garbage collection in the city many times more efficient.
" Besides this, we ran a number of awareness campaigns on radio and TV. Civil society in Indore is very strong and political support to tough decisions such as imposing spot fines was also key in ensuring the improvement," he said.
In Bhopal, Municipal Commissioner Chhavi Bharadwaj gave credit to her organization and awareness among citizens as being responsible for the improvement.
" It is primarily about how much citizens own up to cleanliness in the city. Our effort has been associate citizens with the swachata process. A heightened sense of awareness about keeping the city clean and a motivated workforce driven by a will to make an impact helped us do better," she said.
A total of 434 cities were surveyed in 2017. The Union Urban Development ministry said that 80% of the 18 lakh people surveyed were happy with Swacha Bharat Mission.
MP has a total of 8 cities in the top 30. While Indore and Bhopal are ranked 1 and 2 respectively, Ujjain is at 12, Khargone is at 17, Jabalpur is at 21, Sagar is at 23, Katni is at 21 and Gwalior is at 27.