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India – Rating of Cities under the National Urban Sanitation Policy

Rating of Cities under the National Urban Sanitation Policy announced yesterday is the part of the exercise started last year to create awareness about sanitation. The exercise of rating of Cities covers all major cities of the country and almost 72 percent of India’s total urban population. The country was divided into five zones for the purpose- North; South; West; East and North East and Central and South Central. Each city has been scored on 19 indicators which are divided into three categories: Output (50 points), Process (30 points) and Outcome (20 points).

The methodology for the exercise was designed incorporating standardized methods for measurement and scoring and was evolved after extensive stakeholder consultations. The rating makes use of both primary data collection during field visits and secondary data from published sources such as census. Each agency was required to follow the prescribed methodology, ensuring uniformity and comparability of data. The data was collected from cities in a consultative and collaborative manner. Based on the scores for output, process and outcome indicators, cities were then classified under four color categories; red, blck, blue and green.

The rating was carried out by three agencies i.e AC Nielsen-ORG Marg, Development and Research Services (DRS) and CEPT University, which were selected through a transparent and open bidding process. The process of data collection was carried out between December 2009 and March 2010 and was subsequently scrutinised in April by a team of experts. The results were communicated to State Governments as part of consultations and presented to the National Advisory Group on Urban Sanitation, the apex Group which oversees implementation of the Policy. The final consultations with States and Cities were held at Vigyan Bhawan before declaration of ratings.

The rating of Cities creates a baseline which can be used to measure progress in respect of sanitation in our cities and is expected to encourage cities to perform better in years to come. Based on the results of the rating, the best performers will be recognized with a National Award- “The Nirmal Shahar Puruskar”.

The award aims to recognize and reward improvements made by a city towards becoming totally clean and healthy by achieving 100% sanitation. A totally sanitized city is one that has achieved the objectives specified in the National Urban Sanitation Policy i.e open-defecation free city; universal access to toilets for all including the urban poor; elimination of manual scavenging; adequate provision of personnel protection equipment that addresses safety of sanitation workers; safe collection, treatment and disposal of all wastewater, solid waste and storm water; and recycle/reuse of treated wastewater with the ultimate objective of ensuring improved public health outcomes and environmental well being.

The exercise reveals that more than half of the cities are in the Blue or Black categories. There are four cities in the blue category which have scored above 66 but less than 90 marks out of hundred. Almost all cities report complete elimination of manual scavenging. More than 50 cities report 90 percent or above safe collection of human excreta. Twenty four cities collect more than 80 percent of their solid wastes – another six show an outstanding performance of nearly 100 percent primary collection. While treatment is a big challenge for most, 17 cities have achieved treating at least 60 percent of their wastes. Most cities have performed well in the process indicators, especially the larger cities, but results for the output and outcome indicators are mixed.

The exercise also highlights that considerable efforts are required to improve access to community and public toilets for the urban poor and to stop open-defecation. Wastewater treatment poses considerable challenges – 380 cities collect and treat less than 40% of their human excreta, though there are six cities that treat more than 90% of their human excreta.

It is expected that the ratings will help in bringing city sanitation in focus in all States and Cities. With significant enhancement in grants for urban local bodies under 13th Finance Commission recommendations, and assistance available under schemes like Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Urban Infrastructure Scheme for Small and Medium Towns, Infrastructure Development Scheme for Satellite Towns, North Eastern Region Urban Development Programme, Backward Region Grant Fund, multilateral and bilateral funds and significant initiatives by States themselves, it should be indeed possible to move towards better levels of sanitation and the ratings seek to trigger this much needed change.

List of the rating of the cities on sanitation parameters ( 10 pages) is available on PIB site www.pib.nic.in.

Link to the city rankings: http://pib.nic.in/archieve/others/2010/may/d2010051103.pdf

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  1. March 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you for writing this article and bringing this issue more into public awareness. The grants and funds are needed in almost all sattes and cities because as a sanitation expert it is prevelant how damaging the qulaity of the water is becoming. Great post, would like to hear more views on this.
    Cher is a sanitation and hygiene xpert her latest website focusses on hygiene at home speifically waterproof mattress covers which helps people find hygienic mattress covers and more specific a waterproof mattress cover

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