While Indore bags ‘Cleanest City’ title for fifth consecutive time under Swachh Survekshan, nine 5-Star Cities, 143 Cities 3-Star garbage free cities.
Praggya Guptaa | November 23, 2021 | 23.11.2021
n a recent prestigious event the President of India Ram Nath Kovind felicitated the awardees of the cleanest cities of India at the ‘Swachh Amrit Mahotsav’as part of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. The award ceremony, organized to recognize the good work done for Swachhata by towns/ cities, States and Union Territories under various initiatives of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), viz. Swachh Survekshan 2021, Safaimitra Suraksha Challenge, and certifications for Garbage Free Star rating for cities – saw more than 300 awards under various categories being given away through the day.
According to the survey organised by MoHUA, Indore was awarded the title of India’s Cleanest City under Swachh Survekshan for fifth consecutive time, while Surat and Vijayawada bagged the second and third spots respectively in the ‘more than 1 lakh population’ category. In the population category of ‘less than 1 lakh’, Vita, Lonavala and Sasvad, all from Maharashtra, bagged the first, second and third positions respectively. Varanasi emerged as the ‘Best Ganga Town’ while Ahmedabad Cantonment won the title of ‘India’s Cleanest Cantonment’, followed by Meerut Cantonment and Delhi Cantonment. In the category of ‘Fastest Mover’, Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) emerged as the ‘Fastest Mover City’ (in the ‘more than 1 lakh population’ category) with a jump of 274 ranks from 361st position in the 2020 rankings to the 87th position this year, thus securing a place among the top 100 cities.
Chhattisgarh, for the third consecutive year emerged as the ‘Cleanest State’ in the category of “more than 100 Urban Local Bodies” while Jharkhand, for the second time, won the Cleanest State award in the “less than 100 ULBs category”. Karnataka and Mizoram became the ‘Fastest Mover States’ in the big (more than 100 ULBs) and small (less than 100 ULBs) state category respectively.
Speaking at the event, the President said that this year's Swachh Survekshan Awards have special significance because we are celebrating 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'. He noted that Safai Mitras and sanitation workers have continuously rendered their services even during the COVID pandemic. He said that the government is committed to ensure that life of no sanitation worker is put at risk due to unsafe cleaning practices. The President said that effective management of solid waste is essential to keep the cities clean. He stressed that environment conservation has been an integral part of the traditional lifestyle of India. He noted that good examples are coming out of the idea of 'Waste to Wealth' and many start-ups are active in these areas.
Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs, speaking on the occasion, said that the achievements under SBM-U have been the result of unprecedented collective efforts. He said that today, the Mission has taken the shape of a people’s movement – a true ‘Jan Andolan’. This is also reflected in the massive growth of the Swachh Survekshan which began as a pilot in 2016 among 73 cities, and is the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey today. He said that the next few years will be dedicated to focusing on holistic cleanliness, i.e. Clean Air, Clean Land, and Clean Water. The Minister said that we owe it to our future generations to create greener and inclusive cities. He congratulated the Swachhata Champions of urban India through this celebration, which is appropriately titled Swachh Amrit Mahotsav. Hardeep Singh Puri and Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State for Housing & Urban Affairs also felicitated the awardee cities and States, in the presence of dignitaries including the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Sikkim, and Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Over the years, Swachh Survekshan (SS) has emerged as an effective tool for transforming the urban landscape. Despite the on-ground challenges posed by COVID-19, a team of over 2,000 assessors visited over 65,000 wards in a record time of 28 days. Maharashtra has successfully bagged a total of 92 awards, the highest by any State in this year’s Survekshan, followed by Chhattisgarh with 67 awards. Additionally, under the Prerak Daaur Samman, a new performance category introduced under Swachh Survekshan 2021, five cities – Indore, Surat, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi Municipal Council and Tirupati were categorized as ‘Divya’ (Platinum). This year’s Survekshan, participated by 4,320 cities, also saw an unprecedented number of citizens’ feedback – over 5 crores, compared to 1.87 cores last year. SS 2021 has also helped identify over 6,000 innovations and best practices in sanitation and waste management from across the urban India.
The vision of a Garbage Free India under SBM-U 2.0 was given further impetus by announcing the results of 3-star and 5-star rated cities under the Star Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities. A total of 9 cities – Indore, Surat, New Delhi Municipal Council, Navi Mumbai, Ambikapur, Mysuru, Noida, Vijayawada and Patan- have been certified as 5 star cities while 143 cities have been certified as 3 star. The Star Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities was introduced as a SMART framework by MoHUA in 2018, to holistically evaluate cities across solid waste management parameters. In 2018, only 56 cities were awarded certification on some star rating. This year, the number has gone up manifold with 2,238 cities applying for the assessment. The mammoth exercise was completed successfully despite the COVID-19 restrictions as is evidenced in the numbers - 1.4 crore photographic evidence collected across 3.5 crore data points, along with 14.19 lakh citizen validation and 1 lakh locations covered during the assessment period.
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