Cleanest cities in India 2017: Indore's meteoric rise to no. 1 spot

AuthorGanesh Kumar Nidugala,Abhay Pant
Date01 November 2017
Published date01 November 2017
Cleanest cities in India 2017: Indore's meteoric rise to no. 1 spot
Ganesh Kumar Nidugala |Abhay Pant
Department of Economics, Indian Institute of
Management Indore, Indore, India
Ganesh Kumar Nidugala, Department of
Economics, Indian Institute of Management
Indore, Prabandh Shikhar, RauPithampur
Road, Indore, Madhya Pradesh 453556, India.
The Indian government initiated Cleanliness Surveyof Indian cities in 2014 to promote clean
cities. Under this initiative cities are ranked based on certain parameters. Indore city was ranked
poorly at 149 in 2014 survey. The newly appointed Indore Municipal Corporation commissioner
was confronted with the task of turning around the situation. The task was huge, required
meticulous planning and flawless execution to achieve the mission. To the surprise of many
including the citizens of the city, Indore achieved no. 1 rank in the cleanliness survey, 2017.
We discuss the challenges faced by the Indore Municipal Corporation authorities, the response
to these challenges, and critical success factors and make recommendations to sustain the top
rank. Indore's success was a result of several activities that constitute a part of public affairs.
The study identifies change management, corporate social responsibility, employee
communications, external communication, and stakeholder management as important
organizational activities that contributed in Indore's success. Learning from the study may be
useful for urban local bodies and governments in other developing countries.
In May 2015, newly appointed Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC)
commissioner, Mr. Manish Singh, was confronted with the task of
cleaning the Indore city. Indore city was ranked 149 in all India Survey
2014 on cleanliness. He was determined to improve the city's ranking
in future surveys. Fortunately, for him, the political leadership was
willing to support him in his efforts to make Indore a clean city. The
mayor, Mrs. Malini Gaud, who had assumed office in February 2015
was unhappy with the state of cleanliness in the city and was also keen
to turn around the city's image. Task was huge and required meticulous
planning, and the execution had to be flawless if they had to achieve
top ranking in the future surveys.
1.1 |Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission)
On October 2, 2014, the birthday of father of the nation, Mahatma
Gandhi, the Swachh Bharat Missionwas launched by Govt. of India.
This was given the shape of mass movement with the Prime Minister,
Mr. Narendra Modi leading the mission. The mission was split into two
parts––urban and rural. In urban areas, the focus was on building open
defecation free (ODF) towns by constructing individual, community
and public toilets, and scientific solid waste management (SWM).
To create a healthy competition between cities, the Ministry of
Urban Development, Govt. of India started the Cleanliness Survey
(Swachh Survekshan) in 2016, which covered 73 cities. The survey
in 2017 covered 500 cities with population of more than 100,000.
The main parameters considered for evaluation were (a) SWM
including road sweeping, municipal solid waste from residential,
commercial areas, and from construction and demolition waste, (b)
individual, community, and public toilets, (c) ODF city/town strategy,
and (d) information, education, and behaviour change communication
strategy, and information, communication, and technology (ICT)based
system to enhance urban local body operations. The survey
data from the following segments: municipal body (45% of total score),
direct observations (25%), and citizens' feedback (30%).
1.2 |Indore city
Indore is the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh State, India, with
over 3 million population. Fast growth has brought typical challenges
of urban congestion, slums, and daunting task of providing basic civic
amenities such as roads, water, electricity, and housing to the growing
population. The city generated approximately 900 MT of municipal
solid waste per day in 2017.
Waste collection procedure prior to 2016 had several problems.
The services of private contractors called Jagirdarswere poor, and
often times, the workers would dump the garbage in open govt.
land/empty plots creating health hazards for citizens; city dustbins
were in bad shape creating ugly look for the city. The secondary waste
transportation was adversely affected as the outsourced firm was
doing a terrible job; their vehicles were not maintained properly, and
1, accessed on May 21, 2017.
Received: 19 July 2017 Accepted: 1 August 2017
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1674
J Public Affairs. 2017;17:e1674.
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, 1of7

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