Municipalities in 2020: Governance & Sanitation in the Pandemic

Municipalities in 2020 have performed well in India. The SKOCH State of Governance project studies state government function every year. But as SKOCH began to notice some trends and how Covid-19 affected governance in India, it decided to dig a little deeper. We’ve analysed how specific governance sectors like District Administration and Police & Safety have performed exceptionally in 2020. It has been interesting to see that these categories -usually metrics we use to judge state performance- have evolved in response to the pandemic.

Most changes have been for the better as can be seen with a countrywide shift towards independent, beneficiary-led schemes. There has certainly been a greater sense of civic duty, shared responsibility and cooperation observed at every tier of public and political life. People are not only taking an initiative to make changes on the ground, but are also more receptive to the efforts of the government. In the same vein, it has been noticed that growth this past year is that of Municipal Sanitation and Municipal Governance.

Municipalities in 2020 & the Impact of Covid-19

In 2020, a total of 74 municipalities were evaluated. A significant number of the projects studied this year are in response to Covid-19. At the same time, municipalities in 2020 have continued to deliver in their traditional roles as well.

For instance, one of the most impactful municipal schemes of 2020 was the Smart E Bus project by the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited in Maharashtra. Developing the transport sector during the pandemic and working for the next-gen Smart City mission has earned Pune a top spot in the Municipal Governance niche. Pune ranks #1 in the country as well as within the state in terms of work done by municipalities in 2020. It also secures Maharashtra the #2 spot on the state ranking chart for municipal performance. The main goal is to build a fleet of 500 electric buses over 2 phases. 150 of these buses were already procured and introduced by February 2019.

Another impactful project at the municipal level is Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) – Beneficiary Led Construction scheme undertaken by Municipal Council Lanji in Madhya Pradesh. As a result of this endeavour 952 families from the total target of 2500 have been awarded homes under this scheme. Nearly 400 pucca houses have been constructed under this scheme. It is a flagship scheme of the government at all levels to tackle the problem of homelessness in the country.

Ranking Municipalities in 2020

The following table ranks the impactful municipalities we have studied in this research exercise. Following is the list of national ranking of each municipality as well as how it ranks within its own state.

National Rank 2020MunicipalityState Rank 2020State
2Guntur1Andhra Pradesh
3New Town Kolkata1West Bengal
4Machilipatnam2Andhra Pradesh
4Lanji1Madhya Pradesh
5Jabalpur2Madhya Pradesh
6Visakhapatnam3Andhra Pradesh
7Asansol2West Bengal
8Bobbili4Andhra Pradesh
8Tadepalli4Andhra Pradesh
8Vijayawada4Andhra Pradesh
8Shimla1Himachal Pradesh
8Balaghat3Madhya Pradesh
8Dindori3Madhya Pradesh
8Malanjkhand3Madhya Pradesh
8Mandla3Madhya Pradesh
8Piplia Mandi3Madhya Pradesh
11Pithapuram5Andhra Pradesh
12Badnagar4Madhya Pradesh
12Chhindwara4Madhya Pradesh
12Gwalior4Madhya Pradesh
12Sihora4Madhya Pradesh
13Allagadda6Andhra Pradesh
13Chittoor6Andhra Pradesh
13Gudur6Andhra Pradesh
13Punganur6Andhra Pradesh
13Salur6Andhra Pradesh
13Tuni6Andhra Pradesh
13New Delhi1Delhi
13Dewas5Madhya Pradesh
13Gotegaon5Madhya Pradesh
13Guna5Madhya Pradesh
13Kareli5Madhya Pradesh
13Khandwa5Madhya Pradesh
13Kymore5Madhya Pradesh
13Sailana5Madhya Pradesh
13Ujjain5Madhya Pradesh
13Kanpur1Uttar Pradesh
13New Tehri4Uttarakhand
13Tehri Garhwal4Uttarakhand

State Ranking by Municipality Performance

The following table takes a look at how different states have performed in terms of municipal function in 2020. Andhra Pradesh tops the list, keeping in line with its position as the #1 state on our State of Governance report card for 2020. Other star performers like Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh also make it to this list. Additionally, Odisha and West Bengal are also some of Top-10 in our overall state rankings to have done well on the municipalities front.

1Andhra Pradesh
3Madhya Pradesh
4West Bengal
8Himachal Pradesh
12Uttar Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Ranks #1 for Municipalities in 2020

Andhra Pradesh has been a trailblazer this past year. The state has topped our annual State of Governance evaluation and done incredible work in the fields of Municipal Sanitation, Police & Safety and Rural Development. Here we take a look at some of the impactful municipal projects coming out of Andhra Pradesh in 2020.

The 2MW Floating Solar Farm – A Green Initiative By Greater Visakhapatnam Smart City Corporation Limited

The 2MW floating solar farm is the first of its kind in India, installed on the Mudasarlova reservoir. The farm has been built in the deepest part of the Simhachalam catchment so that it can remain operational and rain-fed for as long as possible. The farm generates power in an eco-friendly way and GVMC can fulfill its energy requirements through this. As a result, GVMC’s carbon footprint is lowered significantly.

Because of this project, Rs 2,30,90,265 is saved per year in electricity bills. The environmental impact is projected to be the same as 1,38,600 mature trees. Since the solar plant helps to manage water temperature, it conserves the resource since water does not heat up and evaporate as much. Research shows that floating power plants can decrease evaporation levels by as much as 33%. A floating solar plant of 1MW can thus help save 190 lakh litres of water per year. This could very well be used to serve the annual water needs of 130 homes.

Plastic Waste to Synthetic Fuel Conversion Facility by Guntur Municipal Corporation

Guntur City creates about 16 MT of plastic waste daily. In light of the Plastic Management Rules 2016, GMC has established a convertor facility to turn plastic waste into synthetic fuel. This is done using a non-pyrolytic, non-catalytic, de-polymerisation technique, which means there is no plastic burning. As a result, the problem of air pollution because of waste management is averted. Another feather in the corporation’s cap is the fact that this is an indigenous system. It is a step in the right direction for an independent, self-reliant method of waste management that is both eco-friendly and economical. The biggest advantage of this system is that it produces ready-to-use synthetic diesel and petrol. The GMC now has its eye on the future and is investigating the prospect of creating synthetic fuel from plastic waste generated from Covid-19 testing/protective kits.

Municipalities Respond to Covid-19

Malegaon in Maharashtra Tackles Covid-19

Over 70% of the Malegaon population is classified as underserved. A significant chunk of the population is migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and other states. Through effective administration, Malegaon boasts a high recovery/discharge rate of 84%, compared to Maharashtra at 56% and India at 48%. Firstly, the municipal corporation prioritised effective contact tracing to control the spread of the virus. Secondly, with 1lakh+ social media and WhatsApp messages every day, awareness-building helped educate people. The corporation also used the PAS system and distributed more than 50,000 pamphlets about the issue. The authorities also mandated all private medical practitioners to operate through the pandemic and outfitted them with PPE kits.

Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh Tackles Covid-19

The Machilipatnam administration instituted 423 surveillance teams as well as 10 contact tracing teams with 16 medical officers to keep tabs on and curtail the spread of the virus. Additionally, 5 mobile vans delivered vegetables to people all over town to prevent crowds at marketplaces. The project population is listed at 2 lakh and at the time of this evaluation, a comparatively low figure of 2,634 positive cases and 85 fatalities was registered. The Machilipatnam authorities enforced all Covid-19 protocols such as social distancing, lockdowns and the use of masks and sanitisers. The authorities also report that an effort to boost the healthcare infrastructure was supplemented by most patients being able to manage symptoms in home isolation.

Newmahe in Kerala Tackles Covid-19

Panchayat members, ASHA workers, PHCs, officials and teachers have been working since 7th February to raise awareness about and manage the pandemic. To begin with, the panchayat sponsored rice and essential commodities for a week for migrant workers living in the region when the lockdown was announced. Similarly, returning migrants were safely quarantined to prevent the influx of infection. The Panchayat and Kudumbasree mission also collaborated to provide 15,000 food kits as part of the community kitchen project launched on 28 March 2020. The authorities supplied milk and milk products to ICDS Anganwadi workers and pregnant women. Food rations and Covid-specific supplies like masks were also distributed amongst the economically weaker families. In addition to this, the Newmahei Gram Panchayat set up a 24*7 call centre facility to help people deal with Covid-19.

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