From being hailed as the Garden City to Silicon City, Namma Bengaluru is now reduced to Garbage City. And the city’s 210th position in the cleanest city rankings – that were declared by the Ubran Development ministry on Thursday – clearly mirrors this.

The neighbouring City, Mysuru which had topped the list for two consecutive years earlier, is now moved to 5th position. Besides, other cities like Mangaluru (63) and Udupi (143) have managed to fare better than Bengaluru in the rankings.

In fact, the City was in the 38th position in 2015 and earlier, at the 11th spot. But its drop by 172 ranks certainly does not augur well for Brand Bengaluru. In 2016, the city had to compete with 73 cities. But this time, with 434 cities – having a population up to 10 lakh – in the race for the title, could the City with 1.20 crore population have fared better?

So, what caused the City’s downfall from Garden City? Undoubtedly, it is the BBMP’s unscientific way of handling close to 4,500 tonnes garbage generated every single day. Besides, the ever growing population, ineffective administration and poor participation from citizens have aggravated the situation further. The BBMP’s plan to dump city’s garbage on the outskirts has been met with severe opposition from the residents over there. 

Besides, a deadlock between garbage contractors and BBMP continues over the tender process for garbage collection, thus failing the effective waste management. Even the waste treatment plants have not yet found a concrete solution to dispose Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) and the compost that is produced in huge quantities. Besides, the new 110 villages that were included in the BBMP jurisdiction have not yet been declared free of open defecation. Also, poor participation of citizens in segregating the waste has also had an adverse impact on the city’s rankings.

As per the evaluation data, the city scored only 40 per cent in waste collection and transportation, 20 per cent in processing of solid waste and disposal; 5 per cent for citizen awareness on waste segregation and only 30 per cent for its efforts to end open defecation.