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Minister of State (Independent Charge), Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the Swachh Survekshan would continue to guide the country in sustaining the gains made under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U), while providing a comprehensive roadmap to institutionalise the concept of total cleanliness in cities.
The minister said, “As the performance of cities rightly show, we are well on our way to creating not just a swachh (clean) but a swasth (healthy), sashakt (empowered), sampann (prosperous) and atmanirbhar (self-reliant) New India!”
Puri made this observation while giving away the awards for Swachh Survekshan 2020 at the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness urban survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) at the virtual ‘Swachh Mahotsav’ organised by the ministry.
Addressing the winners and citizens at large, the minister said, “More than five years ago, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had seen a dream – the dream of a Swachh Bharat. Today, we feel immensely proud, as well as humbled, to see how every citizen of urban India has come together to make that dream a tangible reality. In the last five years, we have seen how this mission has created a deep impact on people’s health, livelihoods, quality of life and most importantly, in their thoughts and their behaviour”.
The minister further exhorted everyone to play their part and be a true ‘Swachhata Warrior’ by inculcating habits of swachhata such as practising proper segregation of waste at source, saying no to single-use plastic and treating sanitation workers with respect and dignity, among others.
With noteworthy progress being made in the past six years under SBM-U, the minister outlined the vision for the next phase of the mission.
“Our efforts going forward will be on safe containment, transportation and disposal of faecal sludge and septage from toilets, and also the grey and black water from households and establishments. Along with this, the treatment of all wastewater before discharging into water bodies, and their maximum possible re-use will also be our priority. Alongside, I am also concerned about the safety of our sanitation workers, our frontline warriors in this ‘kranti’. Therefore, provision of adequate safety gear and mechanised equipment to all sanitation workers will be paid maximum attention in the next phase of the mission,” he said.
Indore, Surat and Navi Mumbai Win Top Honours
While Indore won the coveted title for being India’s cleanest city, Surat and Navi Mumbai won the second and third position, respectively (in the greater than 100,000 population category). Chhattisgarh won the prestigious title of the Cleanest State of India in the greater 100 urban local body (ULB) category while Jharkhand was adjudged the cleanest state in India in the less than 100 ULB category. An additional 117 awards were also handed over by the minister.
Dignitaries from all over the country, Secretary, MoHUA, Durga Shanker Mishra, chief secretaries, principal secretaries, municipal commissioners and swachhta warriors attended the online event.
Speaking at the occasion, Secretary, MoHUA, Durga Shankar Mishra said, “Going a step forward, to ensure sustainability of on-ground performance of cities, the ministry had also introduced Swachh Survekshan League last year, a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns done in three quarters with 25 per cent weightage integrated into the final Swachh Survekshan results for this year. Moreover, the dynamic nature of the Swachh Survekshan framework has also evolved continuously. From being just a monitoring framework for measuring outcomes, Swachh Survekshan has become an implementation accelerator for SBM-Urban, enabling sustainability of outcomes by institutionalising swachhata.”
Mishra further added, “Swachh Survekshan 2020 had an overwhelming scale with the survey team visiting over 58,000 residential and over 20,000 commercial areas covering over 64,000 wards in a mere 28 days”.
Since its launch in 2014, SBM-U has made significant progress in the area of both sanitation and solid waste management. As per MoHUA’s sanitation protocols, 4,324 urban local bodies have been declared ODF, 1,319 cities certified ODF+ and 489 cities certified ODF++. This has been made possible through construction of more than 6.6 million individual household toilets and over 600,000 community and public toilets, far exceeding the mission’s targets. Additionally, over 59,900 toilets across 2,900 plus cities have been made live on Google Maps.
In the area of solid waste management, 96 per cent of wards have complete door-to door collection while 66 per cent of the total waste generated is being processed – an increase of nearly four times over the 2014 level of 18 per cent. A total of six cities (Indore, Ambikapur, Navi Mumbai, Surat, Rajkot and Mysuru) have been rated as 5-star cities, 86 cities as 3-Star and 64 cities as 1-Star, as per MoHUA’s Star Rating Protocol for garbage free cities.
Other key highlights of the event included the release of the Swachh Survekshan 2020 Survey Report along with reports on Swachh Survekshan Innovations and Best Practices, Swachh Survekshan Social Media Report and Report on Assessment of Ganga Towns. Swachh Survekshan also saw the Minister felicitating partner organizations such as the United Nations Agency for International Development (USAID), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft India, Google and Janaagraha among others, who have played a significant role in the success of the mission.
The entire list of rankings can be viewed here