Updated: March 3, 2021 2:17:50 pm
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), which is currently awaiting Cabinet approval for financial proposals for the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), on Monday launched the sixth edition of the annual Swachh Survekshan.
The second phase of the SBM, announced in the Union Budget, will be responsible for sewage management in all cities that have less than 1 lakh population. Highly-placed government officials said that a major focus will be the segregation of waste at the source.
“We are not even letting the urban local bodies bring in segregation waste technology. It is a regressive step. We need to segregate at the home-level. It will also reduce the cost,” a senior official said.
However, sources said the Centre will not be contributing funds for the sewage system component of this phase.
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The other mandates of the second phase of SBM will target legacy landfills, single-use plastic, and construction and demolition waste.
As for the Swachh Survekshan, the survey assesses waste segregation, wet waste processing capacity, dry waste recycling, construction and demolition waste processing, and landfill waste. Over 2,000 surveyors organised by the Quality Council of India will randomly visit 4,321 cities across the country throughout March to assess them according to sanitation parameters.
For its state rankings, the survey will weigh which cities are Open Defecation Free (ODF), ODF+ (when the toilets are maintained), ODF++ (when sewage systems operate) as well as their garbage-free rating. They will also be given Prerak Dauur Samman awards of divya (platinum), anupam (gold), ujjwal (silver), udit (bronze), and aarohi (copper / aspiring).
For the first time, districts (subsuming municipal corporations, municipalities, and town areas) will also be assessed on the basis of their underlying urban local bodies.
“With multiple elections coming up, we will make sure that our engagement will not interfere,” said MoHUA Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra. The Mission is working around election dates to ensure their survey does not have any violations.
The Secretary also said the Mission is planning on creating uniforms “like policemen” for “safaimitras”, adding that “they played an important role in Covid-19.”
Mysuru won the first Swachh Survekshan while Indore has won the last four, as the survey expanded from 73 cities in 2016 to 4,242 cities in 2020. The 2020 winner will be announced soon.
The Mission is currently framing the guidelines for Swachh Survekhshan 2022, which will be more “citizen centric” and have more importance on technological solutions.
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