The central government's cleanliness survey declared Indore as India's 'Cleanest City' for the third year on a row on Wednesday. Ujjain and Ahmedabad also bagged the title in two different categories. The cities were awarded for this achievement during the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019. The honour was conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind at a ceremony in Delhi. Ahmedabad won the award in the 'Cleanest Big City' category, while Ujjain won the title of 'Cleanest Medium City'.
Indore has won this award for the third year in a row now. The second and third positions were clinched by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Mysore in Karnataka.
Among other winners was New Delhi Municipal Council area that was adjudged 'Cleanest Small City', and Uttarakhand's Gauchar was declared the 'Best Ganga Town'. Raipur won the 'Fastest Moving Big City' and Mathura-Vrindavan won the tag of 'Fastest Moving Medium Cities'.
Winners were awarded a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as memento. "Mahatma Gandhi had played a pivotal role in spearheading the movement of cleanliness. I hope people will take inspiration from the just-concluded Kumbh Mela and the level of cleanliness in it," Kovind said, adding, "There is a need to change the mindset of the people towards cleanliness as many people pay a lot of attention to personal hygiene and cleanliness at home but not to public cleanliness. The culture of cleanliness has to become an integral part of citizens' lives." The President also said that there is a need to include cleanliness in the curriculum of schools and higher educational institutions.
Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "The fact that urban sanitation had never before been brought to the centre-stage spoke of the common perception that cleaning urban India was an impossible task. These states and cities have risen to that challenge." "To ensure that the momentum and efforts are sustained, we are actively considering the idea of continuing this initiative by having periodic rankings based on data being provided by cities and citizens' feedback," he added.
Swachh Survekshan 2019 that covered all urban local bodies in the country is the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.