Recently Indore was declared the cleanest city in India and Bhopal, Visakhapatnam and Surat followed it in the rankings. The rankings were based on the Swacha Survekshan Survey-2017 which was carried out by the government which covered 434 cities. This survey also let to the conclusion that Gonda in Uttar Pradesh was the dirtiest city in the country.
These rankings were a good source of information for both the citizens and authorities of various cities to gauge as to where did their city stand with respect to the rest of the nation in terms of cleanliness, and thus what more should be done to make their city better. This information though would sadly not be available for the people in West Bengal as it was the only state in the country which had not participated in the survey.
Reportedly according to the West Bengal’s Urban Development Department, the Mamata led government had shown no interest in participating in this survey as it has apparently launched its own spin-off of the Swacha Bharat Abhiyan in form of Mission Nirmal Bangla. Hence it thought there was no point in participating in the survey. Had the West Bengal government given a go ahead for the survey, as many as 60 cities in West Bengal would have been eligible for participation.
This isn’t the only time the Mamata led Bengal government has been lukewarm to the center’s initiatives. It was pointed out by our columnist Ashutosh Muglikar that the pilot Direct Benefit Transfer scheme in fertilizers could not be implemented in Malda and South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal as the state government had not shown any interest for the same. He also pointed out that the Bengal government was also lacking in Direct Benefit Transfer when it came to Public Distribution System. Incidentally Mamata Banerjee had also skipped the Niti Aayog meeting in April.
Mamata has also been averse to letting the center’s schemes operate in her state under their original names. We had reported in March about how the Mamata government was renaming the center’s schemes like Swacha Bharat Abhiyan, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana(Pradhan Mantri was struck off) as she wasn’t happy with the 60:40 expense share between the center and the state for these schemes.