Indore and Surat are the cleanest cities in India. No TN city in top 100.

Let’s look into how these ranks are given and what are the criteria that the top ranked cities adhere to.

Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) released its yearly rankings for the cleanest cities in the country across various categories. The report is titled ‘Swacch Survekshan 2023’, i.e. Cleanliness Survey but in Sanskrit, in line with the Union Government’s default theme of naming schemes in Sanskrit. According to the report, Indore and Surat have taken the pole position followed by Navi Mumbai for the third position. Andhra Pradesh has done exceptionally well to feature 3 of its cities in the top 10 list. Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati has gone 4th, 6th and 8th place respectively.

Tamil Nadu’s dismal performance:

Interestingly, Tamil Nadu, which is one of the progressive states in India which usually features in the Top 10 of many social indicators, is not even in the top 100 cities out of the 446 cities that has been ranked. From Tamil Nadu, Tiruchirappalli is placed at 112nd position in the country followed by Thoothukudi at 179th position and Coimbatore at 182nd position. Nagapattinam has secured 196th postion and the state’s capital Chennai has taken 199th position which makes it 5th best in the state. In the overall states’ performance, Tamil Nadu has been ranked 10th in the country. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have take the first 3 positions respectively.

How are the ranks given?

Cities are ranked out of 9,500 points based on their performance across various criteria which are broadly categorised into Service Level Progress, Certification and Citizen’s voice. The 3 categories have a weightage of 4830 marks, 2500 marks and 2170 marks respectively. Here’s a slide from the ‘toolkit‘ from the ‘Swacch Survekshan 2023’ website.

Service Level Progress (4830 Marks):

At this level, collection of waste and their processing along with the overall cleanliness of of the city including its public places, waterways, storm water drains etc are rated. This category also is quite detailed and analyses how collected waste is processed and resused/disposed. This is has sub-categories which break into Segregated Collection (1600 marks), Processing & Disposal (1910 marks) and Used Water Management (UWM) & Safaimitra Suraksha (1320 marks).

Certification (2500 marks):

At this level, two broad certifications and their rankings are given weightage and subsequently marked. They are certified ‘Garbage Free Cities (GFC) Rating Status’ and certified ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF) Status’ with 1375 and 1125 marks respectively.

Citizen’s Voice (2170 marks):

Under this section, Citizen’s feedback is given prime importance. In addition to getting direct feedback from the people, Citizen’s Voice also focuses on outreach through Local ‘Brand Ambassadors’ and Urban Local Bodies (ULB). ‘Swacchata Champions’ are identified from the people of the locality, people’s groups, ward councillors, NGOs etc. Ward-wise ranking is given on a monthly basis. Citizens are also involved in creating artwork, hoardings, paintings, murals, etc to promote cleanliness in the city.

‘Swacch Bharat’ Mission:

‘Swacch Survekshan’ (Cleanliness Survey) is a year-long process and the scores are the accumulation of performance of the cities throughout the year across the categories. The scoring system and methodology has changed significantly from the previous year’s Swacch Survekshan 2022, and it has been that way since its inception in 2016. It is part of the ‘Swacch Bharat’ (Clean India) mission, and more progress need to be made over the coming years.



Swacch Survekshan 2023 Toolkit

Chennai Report

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Ramasamy Jayaprakash

Ramasamy works as a Senior Sub-Editor at YouTurn and writes articles in Tamil and English. He also makes videos for YouTurn's Tamil & English YouTube channels.
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