New Delhi: Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Housing and Urban Affairs, announced the results of Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (Quarter 1 and Quarter 2) here today. Swachh Survekshan 2020, the fifth edition of the annual urban cleanliness survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, scheduled to commence from 4 January 2020 across India, was also rolled out on the occasion.
Swachh Survekshan League 2020 (SS League 2020) was introduced with the objective of sustaining the onground performance of cities along with continuous monitoring of service level performance when it comes to cleanliness. SS League 2020 is being conducted in 3 quarters, i.e. April- June, July – September and October- December 2019 and has 2000 marks for each quarter evaluated on the basis of monthly updation of SBM-U online MIS by cities along with citizen’s validation on the 12 service level progress indicators through outbound calls. Ranks have been assigned in two categories, namely, cities with population of one lakh and above (with two sub-categories, i.e. 1-10 lakh and 10 lakhs and above) and cities with population of less than 1 lakh (under the < 1 lakh population category, the rankings are given zone and population wise). The performance of cities in SS League 2020 is crucial to their ranking in Swachh Survekshan 2020 due to the 25% weightage of the quarterly assessments to be included in the annual survey scheduled to commence from 4 January till 31 January 2020.
Speaking at the event, Shri Puri said, “Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) launched in October 2014 by the Honourable Prime Minister has completed five years of its journey. Today, urban India has become Open Defecation Free1. More importantly, there has been a perceptible and visible change in the condition of public toilets in the country. The focus of the Ministry has always been on ensuring the sustainability of the sanitation value chain as is evident in the SS 2020 parameters where wastewater treatment and reuse, and faecal sludge management have been given special attention. The ODF+, ODF++ and Water+ Plus Protocols by the Ministry work as the guiding document for cities in this regard.”
1 Except 52 Urban Local Bodies of West Bengal
Minister also elaborated on the other crucial component of the Mission, solid waste management (SWM). “SWM, the bigger of the two challenges saw slow progress initially, however, there is a tremendous improvement in the way waste is being collected, segregated and treated in urban India. Apart from Swachh Survekshan, innovative frameworks such as the Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities is enabling institutionalization of good practices such as source segregation, scientific processing of waste, dumpsite remediation, penalties & spot fines for littering, and compliance of bulk waste generators, amongst others. The Ministry is also fully committed to realizing the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision of a single use plastic (SUP) free India by 2022. To this end, we have collaborated with the Cement Manufacturing Association and the National Highway Authority of India to promote reuse of plastic in road construction. Moreover, cities and citizens are coming together with innovative models such as the Garbage Café (where one can get a meal in return of plastic waste) to tackle the menace of plastic waste”.
Outlining the way forward for SBM-U, Shri Puri said, “Going forward, the Ministry will be focusing on 100% processing and safe disposal of solid waste, complete faecal sludge and septage management and wastewater treatment and reuse.”
Also present on the occasion was Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MOHUA who added, “Today, the sustainability of the Mission reflects in the fact that 937 of our cities are ODF+, 328 cities are ODF++. We are also making use of technology to make toilets more accessible by mapping over 57,000 public toilet blocks across 2,300 cities on Google Maps. He added, “ We have also made significant progress in the area of solid waste management with 60% of solid waste being processed and 96% of wards practising door-to-door collection. Through our innovative initiative, Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities, we have 57 cities rated 3 star and 4 cities rated 5 star”.
Highlighting the importance of citizen participation in the survey, Shri Mishra elaborated, “SS 2020 will be conducted from 4 January 2020. A major thrust of Swachh Survekshan has always been on citizen engagement, be it through citizen feedback or indicators involving citizen participation. This year, the citizen-centric focus has been enhanced substantially through verification of the progress made by cities on Swachhata through direct responses from citizens. Citizens can share their feedback through the 1969 Swachhata Helpline (1969), the Swachhata App, Swachh Survekshan 2020 portal, outbound calls and the Vote for Your City App from 4 January 2020 onwards.”
As a prelude to encouraging cities to improve urban sanitation, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had conducted ‘Swachh Survekshan-2016’ survey for the rating of 73 cities in January 2016, followed by ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ conducted in January-February 2017 ranking 434 cities. The third round of Swachh Survekshan in 2018 was a quantum leap of scale – conducted across 4,203 cities in 66 days, and became the largest ever pan India sanitation survey in the world, impacting around 40 crore people. The 4th edition covered 4237 cities in a record time of 28 days and was a fully digitized paperless survey. While SS 2016 had seen Mysuru emerge as the cleanest city in India, Indore has retained the title of the Cleanest City in the last three years. SS 2020 will see cities across India being surveyed. With the spirit of competition running high among cities, it remains to be seen who will wear the Swachhata crown this time.