• Indore was adjudged India’s cleanest city for the fifth time in a row in the central government’s annual cleanliness awards while Chhattisgarh retained the first position in the state category.
• The second and third positions in the cleanest city category of the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2021 were secured by Surat and Vijayawada, respectively.
• President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the awards in the presence of Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and others at an event in New Delhi.
What is Swachh Survekshan?
• Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns across India. It was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
• The ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) first conducted the Swachh Survekshan survey in 2016 for the rating of 73 cities, 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. It was conducted across 4,203 cities in 66 days, and became the largest ever pan India sanitation survey in the world.
• In the latest nationwide cleanliness survey, 4,320 cities were covered in 28 days and over 4.2 core people had given their feedback.
• Assessment of 91 Ganga towns was also carried out by the Quality Council of India as part of the Swachh Survekshan 2021, a move that was aimed at evaluating the cleanliness and sanitation routine in and around the ghats, followed by the urban local bodies. Level of cleanliness at ghats increased to 72 per cent this year from 62 per cent in 2020.
Objectives of the survey:
• To encourage large scale citizen participation.
• Ensure sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage free and open defecation free cities.
• Provide credible outcomes which would be validated by third party certification.
• Institutionalise existing systems through online processes.
• Create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities more habitable and sustainable.
• To foster a spirit of healthy competition amongst towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and move towards creating cleaner cities.
Main results of Swachh Survekshan 2021:
• Chhattisgarh, for the third consecutive year, emerged as the cleanest state in the category of more than 100 Urban Local Bodies. Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have been adjudged the second and third cleanest states in that category.
• In the category of states with less than 100 Urban Local Bodies, Jharkhand has been ranked first, followed by Haryana and Goa.
• The 10 top-ranked cleanest cities, having a population of more than one lakh, are Indore, Surat, Vijayawada, Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Ambikapur, Tirupati, Pune, Noida and Ujjain.
• Vita has been ranked the cleanest city with less than one lakh population, followed by Lonavala and Sasvad. All the three cities are from Maharashtra.
• Varanasi has been adjudged the cleanest Ganga town while Bihar’s Munger and Patna have been ranked second and third in the category. Varanasi had won the same award last year as well.
• Noida emerged as the country’s cleanest medium city in the category of 3-10 lakh population. Last year, Mysore had won this award.
• In the category of cantonment boards, Ahmedabad was ranked the cleanest city, followed by Meerut and Delhi.
• Surat has bagged the first award in the district ranking category while Indore and New Delhi have secured second and third positions, respectively.
• Maharashtra has bagged a total of 92 awards, the highest by any state, followed by Chhattisgarh with 67 awards.
• 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.
Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities
• The ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA) has launched the Protocol for Star Rating of Garbage Free cities in 2018. The star rating conditions have been designed in a way to enable cities to gradually evolve into a model (7-star) city, with progressive improvements in their overall cleanliness.
• The protocol, with increasing levels of stringency with increasing star rating, will also be aspirational in nature, feeding cities’ ambitions and dreams of becoming an ideal city for its residents, and a role model for other cities to follow.
• 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.
• As many as nine 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.