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New Delhi: From being placed 149th in a cleanliness ranking of India’s cities in 2014, Indore Municipal Corporation climbed to the 25th position in 2016, and to the top of the heap in 2017.

This swift progress was aided by the corporation’s efforts to improve garbage collection, and turn open-defecation free (ODF). The corporation is part of Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s parliamentary constituency.

“There have been a lot of efforts that have been made to clear the city from garbage and special vans were also deployed to ensure that the city was clean. Secondly, the corporation took a lot of effort to ensure that there was an awareness created regarding cleanliness and the mission," said Changiram Yadav, a corporation councillor.

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On Thursday, the Union urban development ministry released the findings of the Swachh Survekshan survey, which ranked 434 cities on various parameters including waste collection, ODF status, citizen feedback and individual observation. The survey aims to monitor the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 to make India clean and open-defecation free by 2019.

Since the launch of the Swachh Bharat mission, Indore Municipal Corporation claims to have covered all of its wards with door-to-door solid waste collection, instituted waste segregation, and installed tracking devices for garbage trucks. According to the findings of the Swachh Survekshan survey, Indore uses the plastic generated in the city for road construction and repair.

To be sure, the 2014 survey was conducted without taking into account the parameters of the Swachh Bharat Mission. In 2016, the city was ranked at 25th out of 73 cities and towns which were part of the Swachh Survekshan survey.

According to Census 2011, Indore Municipal Corporation has a population of 1.96 million, accounting for approximately 81% of the Indore district’s urban population. The corporation has a literacy rate of 85.67% and approximately 20% of the population falls in the age group of 15-24 years.

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“To make Indore ODF, we put together teams which went out as early as four in the morning to create awareness about the benefits of using a toilet. The corporation also gave subsidy to households to construct toilets," Yadav said.

Indore has been declared ODF in urban areas. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, rural Indore also saw an improvement in construction of toilets. According to the ministry of drinking water and sanitation, in toilet construction, Indore reached 94.33% in 2016-17 from 72.46% in 2014-15.

The corporation’s efforts have been lauded by Mahajan and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.

“Extremely delighted that Indore has won The Cleanest City award in Swachh Survekshan 2017. Thank people & municipality efforts. Swachh Survekshan 2017 awards reaffirm our commitment to make MP model state in India for cleanliness, sanitation, waste management practices," Chauhan tweeted on Thursday.

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Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh was ranked second in the survey.

The corporation’s next target is to provide piped water and access to clean drinking water to every household. According to the 2011 census data, 73.74% of households in the corporation receive tap water.

Indore was selected under the Smart Cities Mission in the first round. Some of the plans under the mission are solid waste management, rainwater harvesting and waste water recycling.

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