The Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep S Puri has officially kicked off the Swachh Survekshan 2019, the fourth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of Urban India here today. This year, the survey will be conducted across 4,237 towns and cities between January 4 – 28, 2019. The completely digital and paperless survey will be completed in a record time of 28 days. 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 ranking 73 cities in January 2016. This was followed by ‘Swachh Survekshan-2017’ conducted in January-February 2017 where 434 cities were ranked. The third round of survey ‘Swachh Survekshan-2018’ was a quantum leap of scale – conducted across 4,203 cities, in a record time of 66 days, and became the largest ever sanitation survey in the world, impacting around 40 crore people.
- On the occasion, Shri Hardeep S. Puri elaborated that the objective of the Swachh Survekshan, which is conducted by an independent third party, is 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, institutionalize existing systems through online processes and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in. Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities, he added.
Shri Puri also mentioned the progress of cities in SBM ODF+ and SBM ODF++. While the focus of SBM ODF+ protocol is on sustaining toilet usage by ensuring their functionality, cleanliness and maintenance, the SBM ODF++ protocol focuses on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing complete sanitation value chain, including safe and complete fecal sludge management. As on date, 7 cities (Indore, Ujjain, Khargone, Shahganj, Rajnandgaon, Ambikapur and Bhilai) have been certified ODF++ and 35 cities certified ODF+.
Shri Durga Shankar Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA, mentioned about the key highlights of Swachh Survekshan 2019 and informed that this would be:-
- Fully digitized survey through online MIS
- Data will be collected from 4 broad sources – ‘Service Level Progress’, Direct Observation, Citizens Feedback and Certification.
- Revised weightage for the components under ‘Service Level Progress’, adding a new component ‘By-Laws’
- Certification (Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities and Open Defecation Free Protocols) MoHUA has introduced an important component of ‘Certification’ of the city on two different aspects:
- Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities: The cities would be evaluated on the basis of the star rating achieved by them as per the protocol released by MoHUA. The Star Rating protocol is based on 12 parameters and follows a SMART framework – Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification mechanism and Targeted towards outcomes – and has been devised in a holistic manner including components such as cleanliness of drains & water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction & demolition waste, etc. which are critical drivers for achieving garbage free cities. In order to give added impetus to cities to accelerate their journey towards a garbage-free status, the Swachh Survekshan 2019 has allocated 20% weightage of marks to the star rating certifications.
- Open Defecation Free Protocols: A 5% weightage has been allotted in the Swachh Survekshan to ODF certifications.
- Direct Observation (On-field independent observation and collection of data): The collection of data from Direct Observation shall be based on physical observation by independent survey agency.
- Citizen Feedback will be collected from Citizens directly (face to face), through Outbound Calls, 1969, Swachhata App/Swachh Manch and through Swachh Survekshan-2019 portal. In addition to collecting feedbacks, performance of SwachhataApp will also be evaluated under ‘Citizens Feedback’.
- The survey indicators/questionnaire will carry a total of 5000 marks as compared to 4000 marks in Swachh Survekshan 2018.
As the largest cleanliness survey in the world kicks off, it is time for citizens to participate wholeheartedly and play an active part in ensuring that their city is No. 1 in the Swachhata ranking. Citizens may provide their honest and valuable feedback about their city’s cleanliness through various platforms such as the Swachh Survekshan 2019 portal, Swachhata App, 1969 Swachhata Helpline or through social media. Citizens may contribute to their city’s Swachhata scores by segregating their waste at source, adopting home composting and coming up with innovative solutions for waste management and creating short videos and jingles to support their respective Urban Local Bodies in Swachh Survekshan 2019. In the last three years, Mysuru and Indore had been ranked as the No. 1 city in Swachh Survekshan 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. It remains to be seen who wins the crown of the cleanest city of India in this year’s Survekshan.