Imagine you are in a fine-dining restaurant. You order a piping hot tomato soup. You gulp it down in the next 15 minutes, upon which you order a tangy, icy orange-crush drink. You have the same right after having consumed the hot soup. And what follows later is an awful experience that leads you to visit the cloakroom, followed by a stifling regimen with meds and then, of course, even a day or two of being away from work, trying to get better at home.
In case you are wondering what this is all about, this is what transpired for India. In the same instance where a country was united in congratulating Madhya Pradesh for cleanliness is now dreading the news coming from another part of the nation that’s nothing but a blithe on hygiene.
It’s like consuming something enticing and sweet and then, immediately, gulping something bitter and pungent
On the very same day where marvellous cities like Indore and Bhopal made an entire country proud by being adjudged as the cleanest cities in India- another state has dulled the mood completely by presenting a polarised picture of cleanliness and the overall state of hygiene in the country. Can you guess what that state is?
Perhaps, it may not move one’s brow in immediate shock to learn the answer. Hey, did you know it’s that obvious? West Bengal, is the only current Indian state that has managed to conjure quite a dubious record of sorts where the state of cleanliness of the country stands?
Apparently, so blatantly ugly has been the situation of the Mamata Banerjee-governed state that around 19 of India’s 25 dirtiest cities fall in West Bengal. It’s quite upsetting and weird to know that while on the one hand, much smaller cities in area and size when compared to a Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad or Chennai such as an Indore is making the country proud, much bigger states like West Bengal, entrusted with a mega political power, a more pronounced presence and perhaps, more funds to develop are ‘dirtying’ India’s reputation.
Does that mean that we are in midst of a not so engaging, albeit shocking display of sorts? That there are the vibrant, larger cities that aren’t able to sky-rocket to the top of the cleanliness survey and there are much smaller but arguably better-managed cities that are embarking on a new change?
The answer still rests for much-wider description. Among the 19 dirtiest West Bengal cities include- Darjeeling, Siliguri, Serampore, Madhyamgram, North Barrackpore, Bankura and others. This is, indeed, a dubious list that doesn’t speak well of West Bengal. What’s creating all the wrong sort of buzz is that these cities have been ranked abysmally on all quarters related to cleanliness and hygiene.
There’s waste collection, open defecation, solid waste processing, disposal and another criterion that collectively forms the backbone of the rankings. Interestingly, while that paints a not so pretty picture of the country’s eastern part, there’s another state in the unpopular list that will not make anyone proud.
The town of Bhadreshwar in Gujarat is at the absolute dead bottom of a list that includes 500 cities in India. The nationwide cleanliness survey that found out these cities include a population of over 1 lakh denizens and the findings were gathered (and conducted) by the Union housing and urban affairs Ministry has found.
When it came to the dirtiest states of the country, then West Bengal was ranked the worst, fearing as the poorest when it comes to the state of cleanliness in the country. But that told, there’s an immediate sense of concern about West Bengal. And in case you are wondering why there’s a simple reason.
The state, for reasons, best known to itself, decided to skip the said survey when it had been conducted back in 2016 and 2017 seasons. Cities were ranked on the basis of their performance in six parameters including collection and transportation of municipal solid waste, their processing and disposal, sanitation-related progress, innovation and best practices adopted by cities.
This news was confirmed by a senior ministry official who shared that West Bengal had chosen not to participate in the earlier two cleanliness surveys that were conducted by the ministry in 2016 and 2017. Wonder what this says about the state and in turn, about the country?