The recently announced Swachh Survekshan rankings for 2019 have left Visakhapatnam with plenty to ponder about. Nestled beautifully amid lush green hills and sparkling waters, and rightly called as the ‘Jewel of East Coast’, the city of Visakhapatnam has always held our captive. However, plummeting down the Swachh rankings, and thereby harbouring the risk of losing its covetous status of being one of the cleanest cities in the region, Visakhapatnam now stands in a spot of bother. Here, we look back at the city’s performance in Swachh Survekshan right since 2015, when it was first incepted.
The initial Swachh Bharat survey in 2015 reviewed 476 cities across India. While Karnataka’s Mysuru topped the charts then as India’s cleanest city, Vizag bagged a disappointing 205th rank. However, tables turned quickly as the city underwent a 360-degree transformation to make a strong comeback next year. Swachh Survekshan 2016 saw Visakhapatnam stand as the fifth cleanest city in the country.
As per the Swachh Survekshan 2016 report, Visakhapatnam fared well in the categories of Service Level Status, Independent Observation, and Citizen Feedback to account for a cumulative score of 1643 (out of 2000).
Going further, 2017 proved to be a golden year for GVMC as Visakhapatnam bettered its rank to bag the third place in Swachh Survekshan 2017. The city had scored 1796.53 (out of 2000) and trailed the top two cities by a whisker to make the citizens and civic bodies proud.
The heartening trend of gaining a better rank with each passing year raised hopes of bagging the top spot in 2018. However, much to the disappointment of many, the city slipped down the rankings to stand seventh among the 4203 cities reviewed in Swachh Survekshan in 2018. The port city was awarded a score of 3546.5 (out of 4000). The slump had caused GVMC vow to perform better in the ensuing survey in 2019.
Unfortunately, the city slipped further down the rankings in 2019 to occupy the 23rd spot and account for its worst performance in three years.
While different reasons are being cited for the city’s dismal show in the latest survey, it is important to identify the fact that a coordinated approach, from the civic authorities and the citizens, can play a major role in helping Vizag regain its glory and fare better in the next Survekshan.