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New Delhi : MoS(I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Hardeep S Puri on August 20, 2020, stated that “Swachh Survekshan” will continue to help us in sustaining the gains made under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban(SBM-U) while providing a comprehensive roadmap to institutionalise the concept of total Swachhata among all our cities.

“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 said.

Puri gave away the awards for Swachh Survekshan (SS) 2020, the fifth edition of the annual cleanliness urban survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Government of India, at a virtual event titled Swachh Mahotsav organised by MoHUA. While Indore won the coveted title of the Cleanest City of India for the fourth time in a row, Surat and Navi Mumbai won the second and third position respectively (in the > 1 lakh population category).

Chhattisgarh won the prestigious title of the Cleanest State of India in the > 100 ULB category while Jharkhand was adjudged the Cleanest State of India in the <100 ULB category. An additional 117 awards were also handed over by the Minister.

The Minister interacted with select beneficiaries of household toilets, Safai Karmis or sanitation workers, informal waste pickers and members of self-help groups associated with the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) from across the country. The event was webcast live on https://webcast.gov.in/mohua and on SBM-U’s social media handles.

Addressing the winners and citizens at large, Puri said “More than five years ago, the 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 have 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, amongst others.

Speaking about the genesis of what has become the world’s largest urban sanitation survey, Puri said, ” When the Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban (SBM-U) was launched in 2014, it was with the objective of making urban India 100% open defecation free (ODF) along with 100% scientific solid waste management. With no concept of ODF in urban areas and solid waste processing standing at a mere 18%, it was clear that an accelerated approach was necessary if the Prime Minister’s dream of a Swachh India was to be achieved within the timeframe of five years. A framework was therefore needed to bring about rigour in the progress in monitoring and a spirit of healthy competition amongst states and cities to improve their performance in key cleanliness parameters. It was this underlying thought that led to the conceptualisation and subsequent implementation of Swachh Survekshan (SS), a competitive framework to encourage cities to improve the status of urban sanitation while encouraging large scale citizen participation.”

The Minister said, ” 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.”

A total of 6 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.