Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced allocation of Rs 1,14,678 crore for Swachh Bharat Mission, the cleanliness drive aimed at achieving universal sanitation and also solid waste management, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014.
As part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, cities were given ranking and special funds to improve sanitation in those places. Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh secured impressive ranks in Swachh Survekshan 2020.
While Vijayawada ranked fourth, Vizag being touted as the new executive capital was adjudged as the ninth cleanest city in the country with a population of more than 10 lakh. The temple town of Tirupati secured the sixth rank among cities with a population between 1-10 lakh.
Vijayawada won the ‘cleanest big city’ award in the category of cities with more than 10 lakh people. Vijayawada won the distinction in 2018 too. Tirupati was named the ‘best self-sustainable small city’ in 1-3 lakh population category.
In neighbouring Telangana, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation was awarded No.1 rank in the “Best Mega City in Citizen Feedback” (above 40 lakh population) category while the capital’s civic body also bettered its last year’s ranking to be positioned at 23rd in the ‘above 10 lakh population’ category for overall performance, beating other metros such as Greater Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and the North and South Delhi Metro Cities.
The Phase-1 of the Swachh mission lasted till October 2019 and Phase 2 will be implemented between 2020–21 and 2024-25.